Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 complete

Thousands of motorists are benefiting from improved safety, reduced congestion, and better travel times following the official opening of the $280 million Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project.

The Premier joined local MPs, Transport Minister Mark Bailey and Federal Senator for Queensland Anthony Chisholm to officially open the project.

Since construction began in mid-2021, four new bridges have been built and 22,000 tonnes of asphalt laid across six kilometres of highway.

The project reached a major milestone in late September when the Ring Road was opened to dual lanes of traffic at 100km/h, followed by the reopening of Beck Drive to both directions of travel in early October.

The Ring Road project involved duplicating the six-kilometre, two-lane lane section of the Townsville Ring Road between Vickers Bridge and Shaw Road to four-lanes.

The major infrastructure upgrade has delivered safety and capacity improvements to three existing interchanges, while a new interchange and four new bridges have been built to improve traffic flow and road safety on the Bruce Highway.

A section of Beck Drive has also been upgraded, delivering a new signalised intersection at Gouldian Avenue along with improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

The completed project will be a game changer for Townsville drivers, and was strongly advocated for by Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper.

It is a signature piece of transport infrastructure for the growing region, delivered as part of the Palaszczuk Government's $89 billion Big Build.

In North Queensland alone, the Queensland Government is delivering almost $1 billion in transport infrastructure and supporting 860 good local jobs.

This includes multiple safety upgrades to the Bruce Highway, the duplication of Bowen Road Bridge at Idalia and upgrading road and rail infrastructure at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial precinct.

Quotes attributable to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:

"Our government will always back our big transport builds because they create jobs in the regions.

"This $280 million project has supported more than 400 good jobs here in Townsville, and now over 17,000 drivers will enjoy a safer, more efficient and more flood-resilient Bruce Highway thanks to their efforts.

"The project has delivered four new overpasses and bridges, as well as four new interchanges, meaning the entire 36-kilometre stretch of the Bruce Highway through Townsville is now dual lane.

"The Townsville region is continuing to grow and change which is why infrastructure like this is so important – to open up new opportunities for housing and improve travel times for industry, tourists and commuters.

"Our government won't take a step backwards when it comes to delivering for our regions, as we continue to build roads and rail, expand our hospitals, improve our schools and deliver training infrastructure."

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

"Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 has been delivered as part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, which is improving road safety, capacity and flood resilience along 1,677-kilometres of highway between Brisbane and Cairns.

"The $280 million, jointly funded project has injected investment directly into Townsville, supporting 357 local businesses and suppliers and 420 jobs over the lifetime of the project.

"The Townville Ring Road is an important Bruce Highway link that supports freight and industry in the region.

"The Australian Government is proud to contribute to regional growth through the delivery of vital road infrastructure projects such as TRR5."

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

"The $280 million project delivered six kilometres of duplicated highway including a brand-new interchange at Beck Drive, four bridges and overpasses, and safety and capacity improvements to other vital interchanges along the Ring Road in Townsville.

"The project team has done a fantastic job completing the project within tight geographical constraints and has worked with the community throughout design and construction to deliver improved local outcomes and support industry on-ground.

"With Townsville's population and economy continuing to expand, these vital safety and capacity upgrades are helping to ensure the Bruce Highway meets the region's strategic transport needs well into the future.

"Vulnerable road users like pedestrians and bike riders will benefit from improved active transport facilities with the addition of pedestrian crossings and green bicycle lanes to provide a safer road environment.

"The project also worked closely with Traditional Owners, the Gurambilbarra Wulgurukaba people to improve cultural heritage outcomes, including monitoring activities, training opportunities, and culminating in the paining of an impressive 60-metre-long mural, designed by the Wulgurukaba Group and painted by a local indigenous artist, at the Kalynda Chase underpass.

"TRR5 has also supported environmental initiatives to contribute to a circular economy, such as recycling over 11,000 tonnes of fill material for reuse locally."

Quotes attributable to Federal Assistant Minister for Regional Development Anthony Chisholm:

"This project is great news for the people of Townsville and the wider North Queensland region, who will now benefit from shorter commute times when travelling along the Townsville Ring Road.

"It's wonderful to see these upgrades, which are part of the Australian and Queensland governments' Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, become a reality. This new section of the Ring Road will also provide locals and visitors with a much safer journey.

"This upgrade is part of the Albanese Government's commitment to deliver the infrastructure that our State needs to keep up with Queensland's growing population, while also protecting lives."

Quotes attributable to Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper:

"The completion of this project will make a huge difference to people living in the Upper Ross region of Townsville which is continuing to grow.

"It means a safer and more convenient road for the area and is a project I worked hard to deliver for Townsville.

"It is the final piece of the puzzle for the Ring Road and I want to thank everyone for their patience during construction."

Quotes attributable to Mundingburra MP Les Walker:

"This project, along with the Stuart Drive upgrades is another example of the Palaszczuk Government delivering better services and helping support and create good jobs for the city."

Quotes attributable to Townsville MP Scott Stewart:

"Townsville is continuing to grow so it's incredibly important that as a government we invest in its future, and this project along with our investment in stages one and two of the Haughton Pipeline and the Port of Townsville channel upgrade, are about."

Further Information:

Project highlights:

  • Four new bridges and overpasses constructed
  • Four new interchange ramps constructed
  • 22,000 tonnes of asphalt laid
  • 4.5km of active transport infrastructure upgraded, including 3.5km of new shared pathways constructed
  • Dedicated emergency services U-turn facility, upgraded crash barriers (including motorcycle protection guardrail) and five new Variable Message Sign (VMS) gantries to improve safety
  • Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) upgrades
  • Public Utility Plant upgrades
  • New drainage lines and retention basins constructed.

Project timeline

  • Business case approved – October 2019
  • Design and construct contract awarded to Georgiou AECOM consortium – August 2020
  • Early works commenced – June 2021
  • Construction commenced – July 2021
  • First ramp at Beck Drive interchange opened – September 2022
  • Reconfiguration of the southbound entry ramp at the Riverway Drive interchange completed to improve safety and capacity – December 2022
  • Bohle River Bridge opened, and construction of all major structures completed – December 2022
  • Construction at Beck Drive and Gouldian Avenue intersection commenced – March 2023
  • Last remaining single carriageway separated – June 2023
  • Completion of major works and opening of all four motorway lanes – September 2023
  • Beck Drive and Gouldian Avenue intersection completed – October 2023
  • Project completed – October 2023