The recently upgraded stretch of the Bruce Highway in Queensland, Australia has transformed the road from one of the most dangerous stretches of highway into one of the safest, according to RACQ (Source: https://live.racq.com.au/2017/05/bruce-hwy-upgrade-given-top-marks-safety/)
The Section A of the Cooroy and Curra upgrade project, which opened in May 2017 was assessed by the Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) using the star-rating scale and the risk mapping performance tracking. The AusRAP Star Rating for this stretch jumped from 2-stars when it was a 90km/h undivided road, to a much safer 4 and 5-star road now it has been upgraded to a 110km/h divided road, delivering both safety and travel-time savings. The risk mapping of the section of road before and after the upgrades has confirmed a 75% reduction in casualty crashes per year in-line with the AusRAP predictions.
This is an example of how the Star Rating and Investment Plans can help target road upgrades and measure the success of those investments. The positive news of the upgrade was welcomed by all road users. A case study for this project has been produced by RACQ and highlights the life-saving benefits of the road upgrades and the potential to save more lives on the following section that is currently being upgraded.
In 2013, Section B part of the Bruce Highway (Cooroy to Curra) upgrade was completed with a new four lane divided highway with upgraded interchanges. This section has shown a drop from 3.8 casualty crashes per year to 0.75 per year, in the four years after opening when compared to the Old Bruce Highway.
Table 1: Comparison of crashes on the Bruce Highway – Section B, before and after infrastructure upgrade (from single lane undivided (2008-12), to dual lane divided (2013-16).
Analysis has shown that the new Section B alignment scores a minimum of 4-stars, with 20% of the length scoring a maximum 5-stars for safety. This is in comparison to the Old Bruce Highway that was a predominantly 2-star road at this location.