The Government of Queensland in Australia has broken ground on the A$352m ($239.8m) Rookwood Weir project.

Under its original plan, the project was intended to provide the capacity to supply 76,000 megalitres of water a year for agriculture, industries and urban areas in central Queensland.

Cost constraints have weighed down the project, potentially reducing the weir’s capacity to 54,000 megalitres.

Work has started on Thirsty Creek Road, which is located 60km outside Rockhampton. The road is designed to improve access for the weir site, allowing larger traffic volumes, work crews and the transportation of heavy equipment.

The project includes widening Thirsty Creek Road to 6.5m over a 16.2km stretch between the Riverslea Road intersection and the Rookwood Weir site.

It will also involve the application of a bitumen seal to certain sections of the road, upgrades to existing culverts and any necessary drainage works.

The government expects the work to be finalised by July next year.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by O’Rourke, as well as Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said: “It’s great to see our own Rocky Regional Council workers out there in their hi-vis undertaking the first works. This is boots on the ground for Rookwood and, most importantly, they’re even more local jobs.”

Queensland Government has launched two tenders and will open another in December.

It is analysing the bids for the main construction partner while the tender for the new Riverslea Bridge is currently open.

Last month, the government awarded a contract to HSA Group to construct stage three of the $481m Bruce Highway project.