Isis Highway safety upgrade underway

$42.5 million safety upgrade underway on deadly Isis Highway

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Works on the first phase of the $42.5 million Isis Highway safety upgrade begin.

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Bundaberg MP Tom Smith and Councilor Wayne Honor

Bundaberg MP Tom Smith and Councilor Wayne Honor

This first phase of the Isis Highway safety upgrade is officially underway - ensuring the safety of regional drivers on the key agricultural link for the North Burnett region.

The project is part of Palaszczuk government's plan for economic recovery and will cost $42.5 million.

From 2010 to 2019 there was more than 130 crashes on the 135 kilometre stretch of road and 10 deaths.

The highway connects the cattle farming districts of the region with Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast.

Bundaberg MP Tom Smith said the investment into the road's safety was key to protecting the region's $4.28 billion economy.

"Better roads get families home safer, our products to markets across Australia and the globe, and stimulate jobs," he said.

"Regional communities depend on the road for employment."

The 2010-2019 data revealed that of the 130 crashes; 57 resulted in admissions to hospital, 40 crashes were at intersections, 12 were classified as off path on a curve, and 24 were classified as the off path on a straight.

Mr Smith said one of the key tools in ensuring community safety was separating traffic between cars and trucks.

"A part of the overall project is introducing ten intersections that will allow trucks and cars to share the Isis Highway in a safer way," he said.

"Giving space for cars to merge and not feel nervous makes them feel a lot safer, and that makes truck drivers feel safer because they know they won't have to apply their brakes late to avoid an accident."

Mr Smith said this investment from the government was not into just roads, it was for the entire community.

"When we invest in regional infrastructure, we're giving businesses a reason to invest in our towns."

Department of Transport and Main Roads data reveals approximately 1000 heavy vehicles use lsis Highway daily, account for more than 15 per cent of all traffic.

Bundaberg manager of Bundy Bullet Freight & Transportation Luke Hobson said his company relied on the Isis Highway for their business and welcomed the safety upgrade.

"Any infrastructure upgrade is going to be better for our drivers, and safer for the public and us," he said.

"Our trucks are 64 tonne and we need the room to expand and keep more trucks on the road.

"More space should mean less incidents and that means less downtime costing us money."

Bundy Bullet run "two to three B-doubles" a day on the Isis Highway and Mr Hobson said he hopes the upgrade will allow for larger trucks to have access to the road.

"If we can have a bit more weight on the road through the upgrade that would be great," he said.

"More weight means more safety, and it brings more industry and gets a ten truck load down to nine, which is better for the environment."

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