Funding approved for Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade

  • Australian Government signs off on more than $400 million to upgrade and improve the flood immunity of 14km of the Bruce Highway, including three major watercourses
  • Overall project worth more than $500 million, including Queensland Government contribution, improving flood immunity, safety and efficiency

Hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested in flood immunity works on the Bruce Highway in north Queensland, with the Australian Government approving its $411.4 million share of funding for the Haughton River Floodplain upgrade.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the scale of funding approved signalled the Government's commitment to fixing troublesome sections of the Bruce Highway for the benefit of locals, visitors and freight operators.

“This upgrade project will revitalise north Queensland, and particularly Townsville, by supporting the long term growth and viability of local businesses and industries, and improving driver safety, connectivity and liveability,” Mr McCormack said.

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the $514.3 million upgrade of key sections of the highway would improve flood immunity and freight reliability for Queensland's primary north-south corridor and boost accessibility for rural residents travelling to Townsville for essential services.

“This project will significantly reduce the frequency and duration of road closures along this section of the highway during the wet season and keep freight and people moving. The Bruce Highway is a vital artery for Queenslanders and upgrades which minimise closures due to flooding help keep this highway flowing,” Mr Bailey said.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said at least 12 kilometres of the 13.5 kilometre section of highway was often flood-affected during the wet season, with the southern and northern ends most often impacted.

“I have pushed for a fix on the narrow and dangerous Haughton River Bridge since 2012, and the timeline for construction was brought forward last year. Works will include the construction of an upgraded Haughton River Bridge, two overpasses and 13 other bridges, upgrading nine rural intersections, widening the road and installation of wide centre line treatment installed along the full length of the project,” Mr Christensen said.

Construction of the project will start mid-2018 and be completed around mid-2021, weather permitting. The Australian Government has committed up to $411.4 million to the project, with the Queensland Government contributing $102.9 million.