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    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie
    Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    TUGUN ON TRACK FOR EARLY FINISH

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Wednesday, January 31, 2007

    TUGUN ON TRACK FOR EARLY FINISH

    The $543 million Tugun Bypass is on track for delivery six months ahead of schedule.

    Premier Peter Beattie and Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Paul Lucas, today inspected construction progress on the vital 7 kilometre interstate road link.

    "I'm extremely impressed by what I've seen. Favourable weather conditions and the no nonsense approach of work crews to getting the job done, have put this important piece of road infrastructure streak well ahead of schedule," Mr Beattie said.

    "That's great news for motorists, it means we should be in a position to open the Tugun Bypass to traffic by the middle of next year, six months earlier than planned."

    The Beattie Government is providing $423 million for the Tugun Bypass, with the Federal Government contributing the remaining $120 million.

    Construction has officially passed the half way point with the most difficult stages associated with building dual tunnels under the Gold Coast Airport runway, now finished.

    "The Bypass is moving beyond the ‘grunt' phase of major earthworks to the point where the more technical aspects of the project are coming into play," Mr Beattie said.

    "When complete, the tunnels will feature state-of-the-art traffic management, communication and water extraction technology.

    "Tugun Hill Bridge is close to completion with work continuing on excavating the entire hillside beneath it, and significant progress has been made on construction of the twin Hidden Valley Bridges.

    "As much as anyone, I wish the drought would end but drier weather and good team work have helped accelerate this crucial project."

    Work has also begun on the complex Tweed Heads Bypass Interchange which will link the Tugun Bypass into the local New South Wales road network.

    Mr Beattie said the Tugun Bypass would consign to history the agonising gridlock endured by motorists crossing the border, particularly during peak periods.

    Plans have also been revealed for a purpose built nature trail to be built by the PacificLink Alliance in partnership with the Gold Coast City Council.

    "The Hidden Valley Nature Trail will provide exceptional pedestrian and cycling links between Tugun and Currumbin Waters, utilising the corridor under the twin Hidden Valley Bridges," Mr Beattie said.

    Two paths will be built at a cost of $220,000 and form a key element of the Tugun Bypass environmental plan.

    Contact:

    Office of the Premier 3224 4500
    Office of the Minister for Transport 32171942