Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian Government has approved $20 million towards the upgrade to fund the rehabilitation and widening of approximately 24 kilometres of the highway, with the balance to come from the Queensland Government.
“The upgrade will reduce vehicle operating and maintenance costs, increase safety and improve travel times for road users,” Mr Truss said.
“The Flinders Highway is a critical link in the supply chains serving the North West and North East Mineral Provinces and is a key strategic link serving communities and supporting economic development in northern Australia.
“The project will prepare the highway for predicted increase in freight demand from high value export industries and improve freight efficiency, economic productivity and highway safety.”
Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey said sections of the highway pavement between Hughenden and Cloncurry was in extremely poor condition.
“The inadequate pavement conditions could be attributed to the continual increase in commercial vehicle traffic demands and also the age of the road, as many sections of the highway are more than 40 years old,” Mr Bailey said.
“The Flinders Highway is at a point where urgent intervention is required to bring it up to an acceptable standard.”
This project is being funded under the Australian Government’s $228 million National Highway Upgrade Programme, of which Queensland will receive $49 million over four years.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2016 and finish in early 2017.