Tenders are now being considered for construction of the Eton Range realignment to improve safety, accessibility and freight efficiency on the Peak Downs Highway – into Central Queensland’s coal and inland beef belt.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said a contractor is expected to be announced by the end of the year, with construction to follow soon after.

Deputy PM Warren Truss and Michelle Landry MP at Eton Range

Deputy PM Warren Truss and Michelle Landry MP at Eton Range

“Construction is expected to take approximately two years, and once it’s complete the realigned road will be much improved for the more than 4,000 vehicles which travel through the Range each day,” Mr Truss said.

“The Australian Government is making significant commitments to major road projects in Queensland to enhance freight efficiency and access to key resource areas. The Eton Range is a key project, with around 800 heavy vehicles using it each day.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the Australian Government was the majority funder of the project, contributing $166 million to the project.

“The Eton Range realignment will support development in local towns and boost productivity in existing and future mining operations in the Bowen and Galilee Basins by addressing limitations in the region’s freight transport network. It will also improve the safety and efficiency of the Peak Downs Highway,” Ms Landry said.

“While this is a state road, people’s lives and safety are paramount and that’s why I fought hard to have Federal funds put into this project, because people in Capricornia were telling me it was a death trap. The Australian Government is paying for the lion’s share of the project.”

The project, in conjunction with the state government, will provide on average 295 jobs and include a dedicated fauna underpass at the top of the range to ensure there is a safe crossing point for koalas and other animals.