Four new bridges and overpasses on the Townsville Ring Road are under construction, as part of works on the $230 million Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 (TRR5) works.
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister 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,” Joyce said.
“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,” Bailey said.
“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.”
Bridge piling has been completed on two of the four major structures. Works will continue as crews return from the Christmas break.
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,” Thompson said.
“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,” Harper said.
“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.
The project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, and due for completion in 2023.