First cars hit road on new section of the Bruce Highway

The final traffic switch for the $117.4 million Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade (TNAIU) on the Bruce Highway has taken effect, marking a significant milestone on the project.

From today (Monday September 4) motorists will be able to use the rehabilitated northbound carriageway of the Bruce Highway at Black River.

Northbound traffic had been using the southbound lanes while works were underway.

The final traffic switch means motorists are now using the entire 5.2 kilometres of the newly-built and rehabilitated highway between Veales Road and Pope Road – a major milestone for the project, which is expected to be completed later this year.

Single lane travel in each direction will remain while final works continue, including guardrail and sign installation and line-marking.

Works are also continuing at Black River Road, Mount Kulburn Drive and Bowden Road.

With the latest traffic changes, motorists will only be able to enter or exit the Bruce Highway at Black River Road via the new left-in, left-out arrangement.

A U-turn facility will also enable motorists to safely change direction on the highway by moving out of highway traffic and into a 235m dedicated turning lane.

Construction has supported 185 local jobs – part of a broader $994 million road and transport investment in the Townsville region over four years, which is estimated to support 860 direct jobs over.  

When the project is complete, the entire length of the 5.2km duplication will be on separated roadway with either a physical barrier, or enough separation between the northbound and southbound traffic lanes to significantly reduce the risk of crashes, particularly head-on.  

The project also involved duplicating the Black River Bridge, which opened to traffic in December last year.

The upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments on an 80:20 basis as part of the 15-year Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King:

“This project demonstrates the Australian Government's commitment to upgrading the highway under the jointlyfunded Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

“This investment is dedicated to improving the overall safety, flood resilience and capacity of the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns.

“Improving safety was a key objective for the Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade, and this has been delivered through constructing two-lane, separated carriageways on the Bruce Highway, service roads and upgraded intersections.

Quotes attributable to Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey:

"Our government will always back North Queensland in getting its fair share.

“As Townsville and the surrounding regions grow, prompted by the major investments in renewables and critical minerals, upgrades like these are so important in keeping drivers safe. 

“I look forward to the project wrapping up later this year – getting locals and tourist home safer and sooner.”

Quotes attributable to Senator for Queensland Nita Green:

“This project is part of our long-term partnership to upgrade the Bruce Highway, improving safety, flood resilience and capacity along the highway between Brisbane and Cairns.

“Vital infrastructure projects like this are helping support rural and regional Australia by connecting communities, strengthening freight networks and improving road safety.”

Quotes attributable to State Member for Mundingburra Les Walker:

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to delivering better road and transport infrastructure for North Queenslanders.

“This project, along with upgrades to Stuart Drive and Bowen Road Bridge, demonstrates this government’s huge investment in road infrastructure in Townsville.”

Quotes attributable to State Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper:

“Investing in road upgrades like this not only increases safety but supports our community by creating good secure jobs.

“That’s why we continue to work to deliver important upgrades like this at Black River.”

Quotes attributable to State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart:

“This is a busy stretch of road that locals and tourist use so it’s exciting to see this major milestone reached.

“I want to thank everyone for their ongoing patience and cooperation while we deliver the important Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade project."

Further information

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For up-to-date information on road works and conditions across the state,, call 13 19 40 or download the QldTraffic app.