Contract awarded for Gold Coast Highway

PRELIMINARY site works for stage two of the Gold Coast Highway four-lane upgrade have started, with the project set to get underway early in 2009.

Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt said Seymour Whyte Constructions Pty Ltd had been awarded an $11.6 million contract for stage two of the project, which is scheduled for completion in late 2009.

Mr Pitt said a 1.3 kilometre section of the highway from Broad Street to Robert Street in Labrador would be upgraded.

"This is part of an overall project to four-lane the Gold Coast Highway between Government Road and Stevens Street,'' Mr Pitt said.

"The project is being delivered in stages, with stage one - between Robert and Stevens streets - completed earlier this year."

Member for Broadwater Peta-Kaye Croft said this stage also included two new bridges over Loders Creek.

"This project will upgrade this section of highway to four lanes, including a central median, 3.2 metre median lanes and 4.2 metre T2 transit lanes,'' Ms Croft said.

"The T2 transit lanes are wider than normal so the lane can be shared with cyclists. Traffic signals will be installed at the upgraded intersection at Central Street as well as Whiting Street."

Ms Croft said close to 25,000 vehicles used the busy section of the Gold Coast Highway every day, five per cent of which were commercial vehicles.

"This project will go a long way towards reducing traffic congestion between the M1 and the coastal communities."

Ms Croft said the highway was being progressively upgraded to four lanes.

"It is being widened to provide T2 transit lanes, supporting the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program for upgrading public transport infrastructure, and the Integrated Regional Transport Plan for South East Queensland, to support the growth of more frequent and reliable public transport services,'' Ms Croft said.

"We hope this will increase the app eal of public transport on the Gold Coast. Four-laning the highway will maximise capacity of this important transport corridor to reduce traffic congestion."

Ms Croft said planning was underway for the third and final stage of the upgrade between Government Road and Broad Street, with public consultation already started.

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