Plans have been unveiled to construct a 20km-long off-road cycle way connecting Cairns central business district (CBD) to the southern suburb of Gordonvale, Queensland.

The Cairns Southern Access cycle way is being funded with the reinvestment of savings from the jointly funded A$58m Bruce Highway Southern Access Corridor project, which was bankrolled by both the federal and state governments.

The path will connect to new cycle ways that are being constructed as part of stages three and four of the Bruce Highway project.

Upon completion of the projects, the Cairns Southern Access cycle way will be one of the largest regional cycle paths in Queensland.

Work will begin next year and is planned for completion in mid-2021 if weather permits.

Australia Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said the cycle way was a huge boost for the community.

He said: “This is a key section in a series of new cycle way infrastructure being built along the Cairns Southern Access Corridor as part of the Cairns Bruce Highway Upgrade Masterplan. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

“It’s an important step towards achieving our vison to build a sustainable, high-quality multi-modal transport network.”

A budget of A$219m has been allocated to construct new bike paths and infrastructure across Queensland over four years.

The Bruce Highway is Queensland’s major north-south freight and commuter corridor, linking coastal population centres from Brisbane to Cairns over a length of 1677km.

The Bruce Highway upgrade programme is claimed to be Queensland’s largest road infrastructure programme to date.

It intends to enhance safety, flood resilience and capacity along the length and breadth of the highway between Brisbane and Cairns.

Starting on 1 July 2013, the programme was first developed as an A$8.5bn, 10-year commitment jointly funded by the governments of Australia and Queensland.

In May 2018, the Australian Government committed an additional A$3.3bn to its existing A$6.7bn commitment.