Bypass start in 2006 - maybe
CONSTRUCTION is expected to commence on the Tugun bypass by 2006 if businesses and consortia can establish an agreeable design by late this year.
Expressions of interest are being sought from companies and consortia by the Queensland government for design and construction ideas.
Premier Peter Beattie said he wanted companies to tell his government how they would meet the project's engineering and environmental specifications, with the consortia having to state how they would design and construct a tunnel to allow the recently approved Gold Coast Airport runway extension to proceed.
A decision on the proposed route is expected by late 2005 to early 2006 and if approvals are given, construction is expected to start in mid 2006 with a finish date of 2008.
Meanwhile planning and design has begun on a $1 billion upgrade to the Pacific Motorway.
The Queensland Government has committed $392 million over the next five years to widen the motorway from four lanes to at least six lanes over 23 kilometres from Nerang to the Stewart Road interchange at Currumbin to meet the huge increase in traffic volume.
If the Federal Government also pitches in with funding, the widened Nerang to Stewart Road section of the motorway will join up with the proposed Tugun bypass.