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The State Government says the $164 million Smithfield Bypass project is officially ahead of schedule, thanks to 500 local workers inducted on-site and more than 90 local suppliers.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey joined Member for Barron River Craig Crawford to inspect progress.

“It’s projects like the Smithfield Bypass that have continued to provide vital local jobs through the pandemic and it’s great to see workers already clocking up more than 150,000 hours getting this project off the ground,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Mr Crawford said in total, 95 per cent of people employed on the project had been from Cairns and the Far North.

Within the last month, he said all deck units for the new Avondale Creek Bridge had been installed alongside completed base slabs for two culverts.

“We’ve also moved into the next stage of the Caravonica roundabout overhaul and have completed extensive bridge piling works at the McGregor Rd roundabout for a future overpass,” he said.

“The new road will improve traffic conditions for the Cairns Northern Beaches by reducing congestion on the section of the Captain Cook Highway (CCH) between McGregor Rd and the intersection of CCH and the Cairns Western Arterial Rd (CWAR).”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said there was a pipeline of projects that would see jobs in road construction for the Far North for years to come.

This included the $12.45 million duplication planning project for the CWAR between Redlynch Connection Rd and the Captain Cook Highway, the $359 million Cairns Ring Road (Captain Cook Highway upgrade between the CBD out to Smithfield), and another $30 million on the Kuranda Range.

Works are expected to be completed on the Smithfield Bypass late 2021, weather permitting.

Smithfield Bypass stats:

  •  Employment: 175 full and part time workers per day, six days a week
  •  Number of inductions: 526 workers up until and including July 14 2020
  •  Number of local suppliers:  95, accounting for total spend of $15 million as at June 30