The announcement of the Walkerston Bypass was made via a media statement earlier this week after a ten-year hold.
The project is getting momentum with the community consultation process currently underway - obtaining feedback from affected landowners and local road users on the planned path.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said, ‘once complete, the bypass would substantially reduce the number of vehicles using the existing route through the main street of Walkerston, particularly heavy vehicles travelling to and from Mackay on the Peak Downs Highway’.
In 2016, the ARRB project (led by Mr David Milling) involved a heavy vehicle safety assessment, which reinvigorated conversation for the bypass, identifying the safety risks resulting from existing and future increases to heavy vehicle operations in the region.
The report outlined that a bypass should be put in place, including changes to traffic operations, intersection, cross section usage and parking facilities should be made to create a shared zone, particularly as the majority of the peak downs highway had roadside land usage including school drop/off pick up zones, school children crossings, bus stops, local library, business and a shopping centre.
The report identified that if a bypass was not provided, safety could be improved with significant changes to intersection layouts, local traffic movements, removal of car parks and installation of signalised pedestrian crossings however safety risk would only be reduced marginally. The through road would still have priority over pedestrian movements, traffic congestion was expected during am/pm peak periods and pedestrian safety would only be improved should the designated crossing be used.