Queensland is open to the elements. One of the things that makes the state such an attractive region, and a great place to work, is the same problem that can cause damage to business and infrastructure in the region.
Flood season is on the way, and Queensland’s major cities are busy ensuring they are more resilient than ever. This was evident in the completion of a new project in Townsville, where a flood-proof road has been developed to ensure vehicles and businesses can continue as usual, despite the season.
In the process, 350 jobs have been created to complete the project, which could be rolled out across other regions to protect precious road facilities. Such projects will be a boon for apprenticeships in Queensland and those searching for their entry-level role in a number of civil construction and transport-related jobs, as seen in previous flood prevention schemes.
A safer road
Realignment of around 800 metres of road across an area susceptible to flooding have made it significantly safer for drivers working in the area during flood season. As part of the project, two new bridges were also constructed.
The upgrade of Blakey’s Crossing was inspected late last week by Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson and three Townsville MPs. Mr Emerson outlined the work that went into the project and the importance of it to the local economy.
“This upgrade has provided work for 350 people and will ensure Ingham Road at Blakey’s Crossing will no longer close during summer floods, remaining open to local motorists and business,” he explained in a recent media release by the state government.
Jobs for the future
Meanwhile, Member for Mundingburra David Crisafulli said the project is a big step for Townsville – with more projects, and work for apprentices, possible across the state.
“This is a milestone moment for Townsville motorists, who for too long have been forced to deal with a neglected road network that left them stranded every wet season,” Mr Crisafulli explained.
“We know we can’t flood-proof the state, but we are investing in infrastructure that secures vital transport and access routes and supports our regional economy.”
The project, initially expected to cost $24 million, was completed ahead of time and for $5 million less than what was budgeted for.
To date, around 39 regional councils have received $305 million in funding for road and infrastructure development through the Royalties for the Regions initiative.
With the success of the Blakey’s Crossing project, and much of Queensland’s urban areas exposed to natural risks, particularly its coastal cities, there could be more apprenticeship opportunities on the horizon from further government investments.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator.