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Main works to start on 'one of the biggest infrastructure projects' in beach town

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Significant upgrades are about to be made to a busy intersection near a school in a beachside town.

Roadworks machinery and workers’ demountables are in place and preliminary works are underway at the junction of Yandina Coolum Road, School Road and South Coolum Road at Coolum. Main works are expected to start during the June-July school holidays.

The $5 million project will include a range of improvements, including the replacement of a roundabout with traffic lights.

State Member for Ninderry Dan Purdie was delighted the works could begin.

“For years the Coolum community and I have been advocating for this upgrade, which is part of our bigger campaign to bust congestion and improve safety,” he said.

“Locals have consistently told me this is their top priority, and while it’s been a long journey and millions of dollars to get to this point, we are starting to see some real progress.”

Plans for the intersection at the entrance to Coolum Beach. Picture: TMR

Mr Purdie said the work would complement the recent upgrades to Coolum State School’s stop, drop and go zone, which was relocated further away from the roundabout in an effort to ease congestion.

Key features of the new intersection will include three signalised pedestrian crossing points, a new concrete footpath to connect the school drop-off on Barns Lane to School Road, new dedicated right and left turn lanes from Yandina Coolum Road into South Coolum Road and School Road, a new dedicated through lane on Yandina Coolum Road, and on-road bike lanes.

Mr Purdie said the upgrade was a critical stage of the long-term plan, which includes the duplication of the Sunshine Motorway and a new interchange at Coolum.

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The duplication is the subject of a $3 million business case, including upgrading the local road network to link South Coolum Road and Suncoast Beach Drive, and installing new on and off-ramps to connect with West Coolum Road.

“I’ve already met with the new mayor (Rosanna Natoli) and Division 8 councillor (Maria Suarez) to progress these local upgrades, and I hope they will see the merit in getting this important link done sooner rather than later,” he said.

Member for Ninderry Dan Purdie at the Coolum intersection, where machinery and demountables have been placed ahead of works.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Bart Mellish said the road catered to a broad mix of  users, including school traffic, bike riders and tourist traffic.

“Traffic lights will improve flow by prioritising heavy traffic demand during morning and afternoon peaks,” he said.

“The project will provide dedicated left- and right-turn lanes at the new intersection as well as three signalised crossing points to create safe passage for pedestrians, in particular, students and parents from school.”

Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton said the lights would help address the current bottleneck on Yandina-Coolum Road.

“I have heard locals’ calls for an upgrade to this section of road and I’m proud to be a part of the government delivering it for the community,” he said.

“This project will have a huge impact on travel times for those travelling through this intersection, I’m looking forward to seeing the works progress.”

Coolum Business and Tourism president Mark Cameron said the business community was delighted to see work on the intersection.

“However, it is just the first step towards receiving the upgrades badly needed to make Coolum and our rapidly developing industrial estate more accessible and adequate for a growing region,” he said.

The works are expected to take about four months, weather conditions permitting and there will be traffic disruptions.

Mr Purdie said he encouraged motorists and pedestrians to be patient.

“This is one of the biggest infrastructure projects we’ve seen in Coolum for decades and, once completed, it will be a game-changer,” he said.

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