Major work finally starts on Kin Kora roundabout
MAJOR works started yesterday on the replacement of the Kin Kora roundabout on the intersection of Phillip St and Dawson Hwy with traffic lights.
The intersection carries about 45,000 vehicles each day and the roundabout has been known for many years as a traffic bottleneck.
Preliminary work on the project started last year when all underground services in the area were redirected to make way for the new intersection.
The $25-million project is being equally funded by the federal and state governments, and Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, and State Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher were on hand yesterday to ceremonially turn the first sod.
Machinery is expected to turn up on site today to start the initial removal of the roundabout.
The intersection will remain open but delays are expected as work continues until early 2016.
As far back as 2008 the intersection proved to be a problem, with motorists negotiating the roundabout calling the experience a Kin Kora roundabout roulette, after traffic signals were installed in an effort to solve the problems.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the project would boost overall safety and efficiency for motorists.
"The Dawson Highway and Phillip St are major arterial connectors to and from the Gladstone central business district and Port of Gladstone, which is why the Australian Government is investing in this vital piece of infrastructure," Mr Truss said.
"By making the right infrastructure choices today, we are creating a stronger country for tomorrow."
Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey said the intersection upgrade was a priority for the region and would be central in keeping traffic moving.
"The upgrade, when completed, will go a long way towards easing congestion," Mr Bailey said.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the upgrade, when completed early next year, would make a big difference to traffic flow into and out of the CBD and the port precinct.
"As an added bonus, the upgrade will provide jobs for local workers at a time when jobs and job security are more important than ever. An average of 78 jobs will be created during the construction stage," Mr Butcher said.