As major road and earthworks transform the Sunshine Coast landscape flyover footage of the Bruce Highway and major interchanges gives a glimpse of the end goal.

About 1650 jobs are supported between three projects alone including the Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway Bruce Highway upgrades, expected to be complete mid-2021; the Maroochydore and Mons roads interchange project expected to be complete late 2022; and a Cooroy to Curra highway upgrade, with works to start after a successful contractor is announced in August.

Combined, the projects are worth more than $2.1 billion of the $3 billion of State and Federal funds poured into the Bruce Highway and rail line through the Sunshine Coast between Caboolture and Gympie.

Other projects include the $664 million Steve Irwin Way to Caboolture upgrade and the Beerburrum to Nambour rail duplication, worth $550 million.

Bird's-eye tour: Bruce Highway of the future

Tenders for the construction and design of the rail upgrade are set to open next month.

Below is a detailed update on the Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway project, the Maroochydore and Mons road interchanges and the Cooroy to Curra Bruce Highway upgrade.

BRUCE HIGHWAY UPGRADE : Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway (CR2SM)

Intersection at Caloundra Road Interchange travelling east to Caloundra.
Intersection at Caloundra Road Interchange travelling east to Caloundra.

Cost: $812.95 million

Jobs: About 680 jobs over the life of the project

Benefits and scope:

  • Improve safety and efficiency
  • Reduce traffic congestion
  • Ensure the highway can cater to traffic growth
  • Speed limit will be returned to 110km/h

The Bruce Highway will be upgraded to six lanes between Caloundra Rd and the Sunshine Motorway.

The project includes major upgrades to both interchanges and a two-way service road for local traffic on the western side of the highway, between Steve Irwin Way and Tanawha Tourist Drive.

Completion: Expected to be mid-2021, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Per cent local business participation: 98 per cent of all subcontractors on the project are drawn from southeast Queensland. Many of these businesses have an established local presence on the Sunshine Coast.

Current status: Construction continues on multiple work fronts across the project, including:

 

Diverging Diamond Interchange

Artist impression of the Diverging Diamond interchange at Caloundra Rd.
Artist impression of the Diverging Diamond interchange at Caloundra Rd.

Extra eastbound and westbound lanes opened to traffic at the Caloundra Rd interchange between May and June 2020.

The southbound Exit 188 to Landsborough has opened and the old exit loop closed.

These changes were to improve the way traffic signals operated in sequence as drivers moved more efficiently through the interchange.

In late June, a new section of the Bruce Highway southbound under the interchange opened to traffic.

This allowed northbound highway traffic to be temporarily shift onto the new section at the end of July, so that work could start on building the new northbound sections of the highway through the same area.

Video reveals changes in $812m road upgrade

'Absolute debacle': Coast reacts to $812m interchange

Major milestone: Revolutionary Coast interchange links open

 

Western service road

Bruce Highway and western service road at Palmview.
Bruce Highway and western service road at Palmview.

Major works are continuing through the Mooloolah River flood plain and along Frizzo Rd on the western side of the highway to build the new western service road.

The Pignata Rd underpass is now closed to all traffic for up to eight weeks to allow for the complete rebuild of the underpass which includes widening, additional lanes and pedestrian access.

The intersection near the Aussie World precinct will also be upgraded to a signalised intersection as part of these works.

 

Bruce Highway

Artist impression of the Sunshine Motorway interchange transformation.
Artist impression of the Sunshine Motorway interchange transformation.

Several new sections of the Bruce Highway between Palmview and Sippy Creek have recently received asphalt.

Earth and drainage works continue closer to the Sunshine Motorway interchange and works continue on the new southbound Bruce Highway bridge over the Sunshine Motorway.

Finishing works t the rock cut continue north of the Sunshine Motorway interchange after a controlled blast at the start of the year.

This area will accommodate additional Bruce Highway lanes southbound and the new southbound Exit 194 from the Bruce Highway to the Sunshine Motorway and western service road.

 

Sunshine Motorway

Sippy Downs Interchange: Concept design of the pedestrian/cyclist bridge.
Sippy Downs Interchange: Concept design of the pedestrian/cyclist bridge.

Major works to rebuild the Sunshine Motorway between the highway and Sippy Downs continue.

A dedicated pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Sunshine Motorway, linking Sippy Downs Dr and Tanawha Tourist Dr, is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

 

 

BRUCE HIGHWAY UPGRADE: Maroochydore Rd and Mons Rd interchanges

Cost: $301.25 million

Jobs: About 380 jobs over the life of the project

Benefits and scope:

  • Improved efficiency and capacity
  • Addresses current and emerging safety issues
  • Separate local and regional traffic

FIRST LOOK: Bruce Highway upgrade to transform Coast

Both interchanges will be upgraded on the Bruce Highway at Forest Glen.

The existing Maroochydore Rd and Nambour Connection Rd roundabout will be converted to a full-controlled signalised interchange, and Mons Rd under the Bruce Highway will be widened, with on and off-ramp accesses relocated.

A two-way service road will connect Maroochydore Rd and Mons Rd interchanges on the eastern and western sides of the Bruce Highway to separate local traffic and improve access to the Forest Glen precinct.

Pedestrian and bike riders will have new facilities at the Maroochydore Rd Interchange, connecting to Sandalwood Lane and Mons Rd.

A widened Owen Creek Rd was opened in January 2020 to access Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

The Bruce Highway will remain at four lanes, two in each direction.

The Maroochydore Rd/Bruce Highway interchange. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
The Maroochydore Rd/Bruce Highway interchange. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

 

Completion: Construction started in June and is expected to be completed towards the end of 2022, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Per cent local business participation: So far, 85 per cent of all subcontractors on the project are drawn from South East Queensland. Many of these businesses have an established local presence on the Sunshine Coast.

 

The Forest Glen/Mons Rd interchange. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
The Forest Glen/Mons Rd interchange. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

 

Current status: Targeted vegetation clearing, installation of temporary road side barriers and construction signage, pre-load and bulk earthworks.

Targeted vegetation clearing has been completed near Eudlo Creek and rock is now being deposited in preparation for the construction of two new bridges.

Building the new eastern service road is a priority and several crews will be operating simultaneously as works ramp up.

Major upgrades will begin on the Nambour Connection Rd/Bruce Highway/Maroochydore Rd interchange. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Major upgrades will begin on the Nambour Connection Rd/Bruce Highway/Maroochydore Rd interchange. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

 

Works on the new roundabout at Chevallum are expected to get under way in July 2020, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Construction of the new four-lane eastbound bridge at the Maroochydore Road Interchange is set to start in October 2020.

 


BRUCE HIGHWAY UPGRADE - Cooroy to Curra (C2C), Section D: Woondum to Curra (C2CD)

Cost: $1 billion (Australian Government $800m, Queensland Government $200m)

Jobs: 576 jobs over the life of the project

Benefits and scope:

  • Address safety, flooding and capacity issues
  • Provide drivers with safe, free-flowing network
  • Reduce traffic volumes on the old Bruce Highway through Gympie
Cooroy to Curra Section B - south along new alignment and the realigned Coles Creek Road and overpass. Supplied: Department of Main Roads
Cooroy to Curra Section B - south along new alignment and the realigned Coles Creek Road and overpass. Supplied: Department of Main Roads Contributed

The C2CD project includes 26km of new four-lane, divided highway to the east of Gympie, with interchanges to provide safe connectivity to the Gympie region at Penny Rd, Gympie Connection Rd and Curra.

Current status: Since November last year, the Department of Transport and Main Roads has undertaken a three-stage procurement process to engage suitable contractors.

They are close to announcing the first contract in August.

The next focus is on getting the job stated and securing the second contractor.

Once the successful contractors have been announced, individuals can apply directly to them for work.

DTMR does not have a specific start date, but the successful contractor is expected to set up site soon after the August announcement and start preparation, such as clearing and vegetation works.

Completion: Start date to be advised.

Per cent local business participation: A local business Industry Register is available on the project website to encourage local business participation.

Since the register went live in December last year, almost 200 businesses have submitted their details.


Man, two young girls missing from Nambour found safe

Man, two young girls missing from Nambour found safe

The man and two girls, aged 9 and 5, reported missing from Nambour on Tuesday...

Entrepreneur starts fresh on Coast after COVID business loss

Premium Content Entrepreneur starts fresh on Coast after COVID business loss

Melbourne man who lost everything to start new life on the Coast

Why you shouldn’t pay for a car without seeing it first

Premium Content Why you shouldn’t pay for a car without seeing it first

Coast buyers are being urged to be smarter with online car sales