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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier
    The Honourable Anna Bligh
    Minister for Main Roads and Local Government
    The Honourable Warren Pitt

    Premier Bligh Announces Open Day for Tugun Bypass

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Minister for Main Roads and Local Government
    The Honourable Warren Pitt

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Premier Bligh Announces Open Day for Tugun Bypass

    Pedestrians and cyclists will be the first to experience the Tugun Bypass in June 2008, Premier Anna Bligh announced today.

    Ms Bligh made the announcement while in Tugun to inspect the 334 metre tunnel that would form the centrepiece of the Bypass.

    “The $543 million Tugun Bypass is well on track for its mid-2008 opening, with the tunnel – which passes under the Gold Coast Airport’s runway extension - on the verge of being fully driveable to construction traffic,” Ms Bligh said.

    “Just as we are able to walk through it today, Gold Coast residents and other interested members of the public will be able to experience the enormity of this 7km Bypass at an open day before we open the road to traffic mid-next year.

    “We are still on track to deliver the project six months ahead of its original completion date and we are on budget – a testament to the excellent work done by the Pacific Link Alliance, a consortium of Main Road, Abi Group and SMEC,” she said.

    Ms Bligh said the Tugun Bypass was another example of the Queensland Government shouldering the responsibility of delivering a road that provided significant benefits not only to Queensland, but also the national road network.

    "The Queensland Government recognised the incredible benefits this project would deliver to motorists and committed $423 million to its construction, well in excess of the Federal Government’s $120 million contribution.

    “This fell way short of what Queensland reasonably expected for such an important road project linking Queensland and New South Wales,” she said.

    Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt said the Federal funding was capped at half of the project’s cost estimate of $240 million, and preceded the lengthy Commonwealth environmental approval process.

    “As a result Queensland had to find extra funds to meet a doubling in project costs over that period,” Mr Pitt said.

    “This is another example of the Federal Government failing to give Queensland its fair share of road funding, even a project like this that will deliver such tangible benefits to motorists and the economy.

    “In addition to cutting average travel times between Currumbin and Tweed Heads from 20 minutes to five minutes, it has been estimated the bypass will save $59 million in avoided accidents over 30 years, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3.5 per cent by 2017.

    "With the elimination of six sets of traffic lights, the travel time savings and reduced vehicle operating costs as a result of the Tugun Bypass are expected to amount to some $1.9 billion," he said.

    Ms Bligh said the bypass reflected her Government's willingness to build infrastructure that would cater for South-East Queensland's unprecedented population growth.

    "A recent population study found that the Gold Coast is the fastest growing region in the country and is now Australia's sixth biggest city.

    "The bypass is being constructed with such growth in mind. When it opens next year it is expected to carry between 35,000 and 40,000 vehicles per day, with capacity to carry the expected increase of 60,000 vehicles a day by 2017.

    "Furthermore, the current four-lane bypass has been designed with a provision to seamlessly upgrade to six lanes in the future, which traffic modelling estimates will be required in 2025.

    “We are not only building for the Queensland of today, but for the Queensland of tomorrow as well,” she said.

    Media contact: 3224 4500 (Premier’s office) or 3277 8819 (Minister Pitt’s Office)