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26 June, 2021

Designs revealed, public comment invited on Cairns' Western Arterial Road

The wait is almost over for frustrated motorists, the much-anticipated $300 million Western Arterial Road duplication is soon to commence, and motorists can be part of the feedback and comment process.

By Peter McCullagh

Design plans have been revealed with work on the duplication to commence in 2022.

Detailed design impressions for the upgrades have been released for public comment on the Department of Transport and Main Roads website.

The staged project between the Captain Cook Highway and Lake Placid Rd and Lake Placid Rd and Redlynch Connector Road, has two upgrade options for consideration.

Community feedback on the options will be used to inform the final preferred design solution.

Sixty million dollars of the total funding was pledged to come from the state government as an election promise, with the federal government securing the rest.

It was confirmed in June that the construction was expected to take several years to complete, with the bulk of the funding likely not being spent until the 2025-26 financial year.

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said he was proud to have secured $240m in this year’s federal budget toward the project.

He said the project, given its size and scale, would take several years to build and it would be a staged construction to minimise impact on motorists.

“I want to congratulate the Department of Transport and Main Roads for the work they have done to date in getting this important project to shovel-ready status,” he said.

“This just confirms the recent criticism of the project by the local Labor Senator had absolutely no basis.

“Sadly, the critics have absolutely no comprehension of how infrastructure is built or delivered and zero comprehension of what a pipeline of works actually means.

Mr Entsch said the release of the detailed design options provided the community with an opportunity to provide their input toward this important project.

“I, along with Cairns’ residents, realise and understand that a project of this size and scale will not be built overnight,” he said.

“But more importantly, this project will support an estimated 370 direct jobs during construction and once completed, improve road safety and efficiency for the 22,000 motorists that use the road daily.”

Mr Entsch said the $300 million Cairns Western Arterial Road duplication would complement the $359m Captain Cook Highway upgrade project.

The business case for the project linking Smithfield and Redlynch will be released in October.

Construction on the Captain Cook Highway upgrade project will begin in September 2021 and also will be staged to minimise impact on motorists.

To have your say and view design options, visit 

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