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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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7 July, 2021

Multimillion dollar highway upgrade commences

A highway upgrade will see smoother travel between the west and the coast.


The Capricorn Highway looked a lot different in the 70's to what it does now, and will look different again after these changes. PHOTO: State Archives.

A $8.95 MILLION upgrade has commenced on the Capricorn Highways this week in a bid to widen high-priority sections and increase safety for motorists. 

The section works – between Alpha and Emerald – was a commitment by the State Government to ensure the continuation of growth in regional areas. 

“The Capricorn Highway is a key connector for many industries and communities and is essential for the ongoing future growth of regional business," Assistant Regional Roads Minister Bruce Sanders said. 

"As the principal east-west freight corridor connecting the Bruce Highway with the Landsborough Highway, the Capricorn Highway supports general freight, agricultural movements, and resource sector traffic. 

“This work will also help support the Palaszczuk Government’s long-term vision to build an inland freight route from Charters Towers to Mungindi, taking heavy haulage off the Bruce Highway. 

The project is part of the State Government’s roads and transport investment over four years – including a near $329 million funding for Central West roads, creating an average of400 direct jobs. 

The Capricorn Highway provides access to essential services such as employment, education, and health services for regional towns including Alpha, Jericho, and Barcaldine. 

"This project will widen three high-priority sections of the highway to nine metres in a 26-kilometre section between Emerald and Alpha,” Mr Sanders said. 

"The project will also replace and extend several culverts, from about 25 kilometres east of Alpha.   

"This will improve road safety and reliability while ensuring the highway can continue to keep pace with increasingly higher volumes of traffic driven mainly by growth in tourism and the resources sector. 

"We have seen an increase in vehicles travelling along this section of the highway each day, especially heavy vehicles.  

“This is expected to continue, considering links with mining areas and the Mackay and Gladstone ports, Gracemere Saleyards, and the abattoirs in Rockhampton.” 

Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Sean Dillon said widening targeted areas of the highway was an important step in progressively ensuring the highway remains fit for purpose. 

"The Capricorn Highway is a key connector for our region and this investment is contributing to safeguarding its role in further advancing our communities and commerce," Cr Dillon said. 

"The project is also helping provide job security to our local workforce which is important to maintaining the liveability of regional Queensland."  

Roadworks will be carried out Monday to Sunday between 6am and 6pm, with works expected to be completed by mid-2022.  

Traffic control and speed restrictions will be in place during the works and motorists are encouraged to drive safely through the roadworks. 


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