Trees go in highway upgrade at Ray Jones Drive.
Grace Uhr, Saturday, April 7, 2012 © The Cairns Post
T may look “like a bomb hit it”, but a field of culled trees at Woree is evidence that the $150 million upgrade of the Bruce Highway has kicked into high gear.
Huge tree stumps and piles of foliage are strewn across the island at the intersection of Ray Jo
nes Drive and the highway as contractors during the week began to clear the site where an overpass will be constructed.
Cairns Regional councillor Rob Pyne said he was a huge supporter of the upgrade, which will create 400 jobs and ease congestion for 55,000 cars each weekday, although was disappointed the trees had to be culled.
“It’s always sad when you have to chop down trees, but there will be significant landscaping around the area,” he said.
“It will look brilliant when finished, but it looks like a bomb hit it at the moment.”
The project is a Federal and State government operation which has been in the planning for a decade, with works first beginning in early October last year.
Cr Pyne said he had been surprised the tree culling had not started earlier, but upon queries had been
told the contractor was waiting for the end of the wet season.
When complete, the intersection will involve two additional lanes along Ray Jones Drive, an overpass for traffic accessing Mulgrave Rd and another at Sheehy Rd to service southern residents and Anderson Rd at Woree will be permanently closed and replaced by a cycle and pedestrian bridge to give students safer access to nearby schools.
It is expected to be completed in two years and is a joint venture of BMD Group and Albem Operations.