Budget provides little for upgrade

UNCERTAINTY continues to shroud the Calliope Crossroads.

The Gillard Government will today unveil a Federal Budget that provides precious little for an upgrade of the dangerous intersection, despite promising $155 million for the project during the 2010 election campaign.

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan announced on Saturday that five Bruce Highway projects would be reinstated in today’s budget, but Calliope Crossroads was not on the list.

A Queensland Transport and Main Roads (TMR) representative told The Observer $20 million had been provided by the Federal Government for design and pre-construction works.

But there appeared to be no indication of when construction would actually begin.

“The design stage should be complete early in 2012, after which any construction will be dependent on timing and allocation of funding from the Australian Government,” the representative said.

Now local politicians and residents are wondering if the money will ever be allocated.

On Friday, Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd called on the federal and state governments to stop dithering on the desperately needed upgrade.

“The Calliope Crossroads has been on the drawing board for many years,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“When the Howard Government was in power one of their election promises in 2007 was to spend $55 million on the Calliope Crossroads.

“When Labor was campaigning in 2007 they also pledged $55 million.”

Project in Limbo

- More than 9000 motorists pass through Calliope Crossroads every day.

- 26 crashes occurred at the intersection between 2000 and 2009.

- A bridge to carry the Bruce Highway over a duplicated Dawson Highway has been chosen as the preferred option.

- Engineering consultancy SMEC Australia is working with TMR to deliver the design and pre-construction works.



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