$260m roads rescue
OUR flood-battered road network could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a $260 million funding package to repair the Wide Bay's damaged roads.
Federal flood recovery minister Joe Ludwig, who is due to announce the funding today, said the package would not only improve roads, but also create hundreds of jobs.
"This $260 million funding injection will repair more than 330km of damaged roads," Mr Ludwig said.
"Around 1300 local jobs will be created through the rebuild packages for the Wide Bay-Burnett region."
"The first package of works will start this month repairing damage around Maryborough and the roads connecting to Hervey Bay, Torbanlea, Tin Can Bay and Burrum Heads," Mr Ludwig said.
"Other tenders will be released over the coming months."
Bundaberg Regional Council roads and drainage infrastructure spokesman Wayne Honor said he was thrilled about the funding.
"We are continuing to work on the flood-damage roads and this $260m that has been announced will be a great benefit," Cr Honor said.
"This will be on top of $60m in claims the council has applied for."
Cr Honor said it had been a struggle for the council to repair roads as quickly as many would have liked.
"We're doing our best from a Bundaberg Regional Council point of view to move through these repairs and to keep the roads in as safe a condition as we can," he said.
"It's a very, very big job."
Cr Honor said he would like to see the Bundaberg-Lowmead and Rosedale Rd included in the repair work.
"That is a road we continually receive complaints about," he said.
"There really hasn't been enough money to do more than patching work there."
He also hoped there would be job opportunities for Bundaberg residents.
"Hopefully it will create employment opportunities in the region because there have been a lot of families struggling," he said.
A Transport and Main Roads spokesman said it was hoped to have the repairs completed in 2014.
"By mid-2012, we anticipate that reconstruction works across the region will be fully under way and finished during 2014, weather permitting," he said.
"Reconstruction works are scheduled to start in the Fraser Coast region this month with the Bruce Hwy and Bundaberg area to start in early 2012."
The spokesman said the works would include pavement stabilisation and overlay to ensure the road network was better able to cope with similar weather events in the future.
"While the reconstruction work is under way, it has provided the opportunity for the department to undertake additional roadworks with two overtaking lanes planned for the Bruce Highway just north of Booyal and just south of Gin Gin, and widening various sections of roads across the region," he said.
"Once these roadworks are complete, they will provide a safer, stronger and more resilient travelling conditions."
Roads earmarked for repairs include:
Isis Hwy between Bundaberg and Childers
Burnett Hwy between Goomeri and Gayndah
Monto-Mt Perry Rd