Work has begun on the $613m upgrade of Cooroy to Curra Section B of Bruce Highway in the Australian state of Queensland.

The section, which carries nearly 16,000 vehicles every day, has a 40% higher crash rate than other major roads on the National Network.

Renovation work involves reconstructing the road to a dual-lane divided highway. The new corridor will also cross above the Mary River floodplain.

The upgrade includes building eight new bridges over small rivers in the area.

The first stage of bulk earthworks on the section will be carried out by Abigroup Construction.

The section is being funded by $488m from the Rudd Labor Government and the remainder by the Bligh Labor Government.

Work is scheduled to finish in 2012.