How far does $152 million go these days?
This is not just a question for the next lucky lotto winner, with some TNQ locals asking why it will cost the State Government this much to build the 3.8km, two-lane Smithfield Bypass.
Funding for the long awaited project was announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Smithfield roundabout on 12 July, with construction due to start next year.
TropicNow asked the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the authority responsible for the planning and construction of the bypass, to detail the specifics of the project and the $152 million price tag.
“Most of the project cost is for construction, such as bridges, drainage structures, landscaping, street lighting and new pavement. There is also a significant amount of earthworks involved,” a TMR spokesperson said.
“The Economic Assessment of the bypass solution, undertaken as part of the business case, found it delivers outstanding value for money.
“Where savings can be found they will be.”
The scope of works includes:
• Construction of a new, two-lane bypass road connecting McGregor Road roundabout and Yorkeys Knob Road intersection.
• Construction of a two-lane, two-way overpass at the intersection of the Captain Cook Highway and McGregor Road.
• Upgrading of the existing Yorkeys Knob intersection from a roundabout to a signalised intersection.
• A full length off-road cycle path.
The new road will run parallel to the Captain Cook Highway and when construction starts, motorists and residents will be able to see the works progressing but may be unaware of other costs involved with road projects of this scale.
“The site is on the Barron Delta, which is a challenging environment for a construction project of this scale,” the spokesperson said.
“There are other less visible expenses involved such as property resumption, detailed design, relocation of utilities, environmental management and project administration.”
The LNP has matched the Government’s commitment to build the much needed infrastructure.
It is expected to take three years to build the bypass which will help reduce congestion on the Captain Cook Highway for residents of Cairns' northern beaches and support 115 full-time jobs during construction.