Four new bridges and overpasses under construction on Townsville Ring Road are set to benefit the road transport industry.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the works are already delivering benefits to the region, with a strong focus on using materials and suppliers from the Townsville area.
“The TRR5 project will provide long-term improvements to traffic flow and road safety on the Bruce Highway in Townsville,” said Joyce.
“This upgrade is about ensuring the Bruce Highway can meet the strategic transport needs of the Townsville region well into the future.
“More than 17,000 vehicles use this section each day, 12 per cent of which are freight vehicles.
“When the upgrade is completed, these passenger and freight vehicles will benefit from improved efficiency and safety, reduced travel times and better access to the region.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said more than 200,000 tonnes of material had already been delivered to form the new Bruce Highway carriageway and bridge approaches.
“The project will duplicate the Ring Road between Vickers Bridge and Shaw Road to four lanes and install new bridges and overpasses at the Bohle and Little Bohle Rivers, and at Beck Drive and Hervey Range Developmental Road,” said Bailey.
“The end result will be improved safety and efficiency for road users, and better access between the Upper Ross and the Ring Road, especially for locals heading to and from key employment areas such as the hospital and university.”
Excellent progress has been made during the first six months of works, with bridge piling completed on two of the four major structures.
Coming back from a short Christmas break, works will continue at a swift pace as crews push ahead with bridge and road construction works along the six-kilometre alignment.
Federal Member for Herbert, Phillip Thompson, said the project was extremely important for the Townsville region.
“There’s nothing more important when it comes to our roads than safety, and the Bruce Highway is the busiest and most critical road in Queensland,” said Thompson.
“That is why the Australian Government is investing 80 per cent of the cost of this project – that’s $184 million – as part of our $10 billion 15-year Bruce Highway Upgrade Program to improve road safety, capacity and flood resilience between Brisbane and Cairns.”
Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, said local contractors and suppliers would reap the benefits of the project.
“We have 39 local businesses currently engaged and completing works on the Ring Road upgrade, with more than 80 per cent of spend to date going to local suppliers and contractors,” said Harpe.
“That’s more than $40 million that has been injected into Townsville and the surrounding region, benefiting local companies employing local workers.
“We’ll see these economic benefits continue to flow through the community as works continue throughout 2022 and into 2023.
“A big thank you goes out to my community for their support and patience while crews undertake these major upgrade works.”
The $230 million upgrade project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 funding split. It is due for completion in 2023.