The Queensland Government in Australia has announced the completion of the A$497.3m ($361m) Mackay Ring Road connecting Mackay at Stockroute Road roundabout to the Bruce Highway.

The new road is now open for traffic movements.

Under the Bruce Highway Upgrade programme, the Australian Government contributed A$397.9m ($298m) to improve the road’s safety, capacity and flood resilience between Brisbane and Cairns.

The project includes nine overpasses and four bridges.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said: “The 11.3km ring road will make it much easier to travel between the south of Mackay and the northern suburbs.

“Travel time through the town centre will reduce, particularly at peaks times and heavy vehicles will be removed from the Nebo Road.

“The Australian Government’s 80% contribution to this project is part of our $100bn, ten-year infrastructure pipeline, which will support our economy and create jobs, particularly for those in the construction and manufacturing industries.”

Local businesses and crews continued working on the project amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Construction work generated job opportunities for approximately 1,400 local workers, improving the local economy.

The work included laying 90,000m² of asphalt, 108 T-Girders and 11.3km of new road.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said: “Mackay Ring Road works included nine overpasses and 13 bridges.

“All 108 T-Girders were manufactured in a specialist, precast, concrete facility in Rockhampton and transported to Mackay. Just one component of the new Greg Sutherland Bridge required the manufacture, transportation and placement of 108 T-Girders, each weighing up to 82t, measuring 1.8m tall, and 35m long.”