Stuckey says 'stingy' govt has ignored Boyd Street

CURRUMBIN MP Jann Stuckey has accused the Queensland Government of being "stingy" for not delivering on a promised interchange as part of the Tugun bypass.

Ms Stuckey said the government had ignored the need for an interchange at Boyd Street to cope with the added traffic from massive growth in the area near the bypass.

"We're obviously thrilled to see this finally happen, but this is an opportunity missed as well," she said.

"Within a couple of years a major development will begin construction of several thousand homes just over the Queensland-New South Wales border at Cobaki and thousands of cars will stream down Boyd St, causing more congestion in the area which will undo the major benefits of the bypass."

It was last week announced the bypass, on the Queensland-NSW border, would open on June 2 -- almost a decade after it was first flagged by the Queensland government.

Ms Stuckey, a Liberal MP, said the project had been promised in a media release by the Beattie government in November 1999, with regular announcements about its go-ahead being made almost every year since then.

"An interchange near Boyd Street was in the original plans and was removed around 2002/03, apparently due to financial constraints," she said.

"According to Main Roads the interchange is still on the agenda, but will not be built until a certain daily vehicle use is reached.

"Whilst I am thrilled the project will be completed ahead of schedule, the government were too stingy to include a much needed interchange near Boyd Street, despite massive spending on less than seven kilometres of road."

The opposition has accused the state government of mishandling the project, initially estimated to cost $157 million and finally coming in at $543 million.

Acting Premier Paul Lucas, meanwhile, denied that the bypass was late and over budget.

He said it would mean the end of traffic gridlock for the area.

"When it was announced it was the most expensive road in Australia at $543 million, but now there are more expensive roads than that," he said.

He said the bypass would cut travel time between Currumbin and Tweed Heads by five minutes, saving an estimated $1.9 billion over 30 years in reduced travel times and vehicle operating costs.

The road, which bypasses the busy towns of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta, is also set to open six months earlier than originally planned.

The four-lane road, which was built with funding from the federal and Queensland governments, will be used by about 46,000 vehicles each day, according to government figures.



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