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19 November, 2021

Innisfail Bypass planning to start in 2022

PLANNING for the proposed Innisfail Bypass will now start in 2022, after initially being scheduled for this year.

By David Gardiner

The Transport and Mains Road department said it expects to call tenders for the bypass planning project “in early 2022.” 

A TMR spokesperson said the planning, estimated to cost $9-million before any construction work on the bypass starts, will be jointly funded by the federal and state governments on an 80:20 basis. 

“Planning will identify and preserve a corridor for a future bypass of Innisfail so that the safety and efficiency of the Bruce Highway can be maintained in the medium to long term,” the spokesperson said. 

“Planning is expected to start mid next year and will take about 18 months to complete.” The Innisfail District Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the decision to start the planning. 

“There is no doubt that the people of Innisfail and the Cassowary Coast region face a daily struggle with high volumes of traffic, particularly trucks, going through our town,” Suzanne Bassette, the Chamber’s president said. 

“At certain times of the day, people can wait up to 15 minutes just to cross the Bruce Highway through town, with drivers frequently breaking the road rules or risking accidents. So yes, many of us will say bring the bypass on.” 

Ms Bassette said there are also fears amongst local businesses that a bypass could spell economic death for the Cassowary Coast’s Central Business District. “As part of this planning process there needs to be genuine communication with the community about what the criteria is for the reserved route.” 

The TMR spokesperson said, “We will consult with relevant stakeholders, including business owners, as part of planning.” Construction of the proposed Innisfail Bypass is currently unfunded.

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