THE long-awaited $1 million upgrade of Old Toogoom Rd is under way, with Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt turning the first sod on the project on Tuesday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the upgrade was only possible because of the Australian Government's commitment to regional road networks.

"This project will support local jobs and ensure Old Toogoom Rd is up to scratch for the 1600 vehicles that use it every day, including freight and commercial vehicles," he said.

"These numbers are expected to grow by 4% every year, so upgrading this particular section will pay economic dividends by improving safety and the reliability of the road.

"The project will also support jobs in the local community, with Fraser Coast Regional Council's own day labour force undertaking these works.

Mr Pitt said he was thrilled to be delivering on another one of his election commitments.

"Small towns deserve strong transport links and I am pleased to see works begin on this crucial section of road," he said.

"The Old Toogoom Rd upgrade is quite extensive and is fully funded by the Coalition Government.

"It includes the delivery of a two-lane sealed road, improved road alignment, as well as drainage that can handle poor weather.

"The Australian Government is also providing $3.75 million to upgrade River Heads Rd, in partnership with Fraser Coast Regional Council."

The project is being fully funded by the Australian Government, with works expected to finish by mid-2015.

Work begins on finishing the last section of narrow roadway on Old Toogoom Rd at Torbanlea.
Work begins on finishing the last section of narrow roadway on Old Toogoom Rd at Torbanlea. Alistair Brightman