UPGRADES to the 1.5km section of Proserpine-Shute Harbour Road, in Cannonvale, are now underway, despite community pushback on the design.
Construction is due to be completed in mid to late 2023.
The upgrade includes three main projects, which will widen Proserpine – Shute Harbour Road from two to four lanes, build a new shared pathway, and upgrade key intersections between Paluma Road and Tropic Road.
Proserpine – Shute Harbour Road is the only road linking the Bruce Highway and Proserpine to Cannonvale, Airlie Beach, Jubilee Pocket and Shute Harbour.
The section of the road sees an average of 26,640 traffic movements, a day, and has a history of road crashes, according to the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), which expects the road duplication to improve traffic flow and increase safety for drivers.
TMR expects that the upgrade will reduces peak hour congestion, facilitate regional growth, and improve accessibility.
The works will add an additional lane, each way, between Paluma Road and Tropic Road, upgrade intersections and traffic lights at William Murray Drive and MacArthur Drive, improve drainage to reduce flooding, add new and upgraded bus stops, and add a 3.5m-wide shared path for pedestrians and bike riders, as well as on-road bike riding lanes and pedestrian crossings.
A spokesperson for TMR said residents should allow extra travel time, while works are underway, and follow all signage.
“Enabling work on Proserpine-Shute Harbour Road, between Paluma Road and Valley Drive, in Cannonvale, is underway,” a spokesperson said.
“We will endeavour to minimise disruptions to road users and the community; however, some lane restrictions and speed limit reductions will be in place throughout construction.
“We thank the community for its patience, while this work is being delivered.”
Residents Traffic Action (RTA) member Faye Chapman insists that the upgrade does not meet community expectations.
“The TMR project manager advised RTA that they plan to meet with us shortly,” she said.
“RTA welcomes this offer of consultation and continues to insist that the present TMR design does not provide the best outcomes for either acknowledged traffic problems or community expectations.”
The total investment for the project is $31.6m, with the Australian Government contributing $14.1m and the Queensland Government contributing $17.5m.
The Paluma Road to Valley Drive section of the works requires $16m in funding and is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($12.8m) and Queensland Government ($3.2m).
The Valley Drive to Tropic Road section requires $13m and is fully funded by the Queensland Government, while the shared path project requires $2.6m and is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($1.3m) and Queensland Government ($1.3m).