The scene of the crash on the Bruce Highway at Black River, where Kurt Philpots lost his life, will get a significant multimillion dollar upgrade. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
The scene of the crash on the Bruce Highway at Black River, where Kurt Philpots lost his life, will get a significant multimillion dollar upgrade. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Killer stretch of Bruce Hwy to get $107m upgrade

A DANGEROUS section of the Bruce Highway north of Townsville that has claimed three lives in six months - including that of Bluewater teenager Kurt Philpots - will undergo a multimillion-dollar upgrade.

The Townsville Bulletin can reveal the Federal and State governments will add another two lanes to the 5.2km section of the Bruce Highway at BlackRiver, between Veales Rd and Pope Rd, including another bridge, with design work to begin this year and construction next year.

It follows petitioning from the family of Mr Philpots, a "talented" and "gentle" 20-year-old from Bluewater who died weeks before Christmas in a head-on collision there.

Townsville man Kurt Philpots, 20, was killed in a head-on collision on the Bruce Highway at Black River on Saturday night. Photo: Facebook
Townsville man Kurt Philpots, 20, was killed in a head-on collision on the Bruce Highway at Black River on Saturday night. Photo: Facebook

His parents Mary and Craig called for urgent upgrades to the dangerous stretch of road, which is a single lane in either direction and caters to an average of 14,000 vehicles a day and has a speed limit of 100km/h.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto, Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper and Councillor Margie Ryder held meetings with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, which led to an overall funding commitment from the Federal and State governments to be bumped up from $72 million to $107.65 million, on the standard 80:20 funding share.

The Philpots family have an ongoing petition calling for more safety measures at the stretch of road and are calling for temporary signage or reducing the speed limit to 80km/h while waiting for road works to get under way.

Mr Harper, who has "memories" of attending fatal crashes on the stretch of road during his time as a paramedic, said those measures were being looked at.

Mr Dametto said the upgrade, to be known as the Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade, would mean safer travels for all.

Mrs Philpots said losing Kurt had "shattered" the family, his friends and his partner.



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