8 upcoming opportunities under the $8.5b Bruce Highway Upgrade Programme

Sophia Rostron   |   April 26, 2016

More than ten years of construction, 16 projects already completed or in progress, and $8.5 billion in federal and state funding for material and works - the Bruce Highway upgrade programme is a massive project. It requires a workforce of thousands and hundreds of companies to build all the different projects. In a release titled "Coalition delivering on plan to 'Fix the Bruce Highway", Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has identified the next eight projects the Coalition Government is working to deliver. 

1. Construction of the Mackay Ring Road

The Mackay Ring Road (Stage 1) Preferred Plan was released to the public in May 2013. This $560 million project jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments has now progressed to the design phase (with design consultant AECOM). The plan includes:

  • reconfiguring access arrangements for private properties along the Ring Road
  • modifying drainage to ensure the ongoing productivity of cane farms in the area
  • designing 13 bridges including a new river crossing over the Pioneer River
  • construction of dual lane roundabouts at each end of the Ring Road.
During the development of the plan, the Department of Transport and Main Roads has been working with property owners to provide innovative and improved design solutions. As a result, changes to the plan are expected, particularly around access arrangements, drainage and transport of cane farming equipment. Construction of Stage 1 of the Ring Road is expected to enter implementation phase in mid 2017, and could take up to 3 years to complete.  

2. Upgrades between Caloundra Road and the Sunshine Motorway

This project involves a 7km upgrade of the Bruce Highway between Caloundra Road and the Sunshine Motorway to 6-lanes, including major upgrades to both interchanges and the delivery of a service road for local traffic on the western side of the highway. It is among Queensland's highest priority road projects and is designed to meet the strategic transport needs of the Sunshine Coast region in this area well into the future.

The Bruce Highway Upgrade—Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway project is a $1.134 billion project, funded on an 80:20 basis under the Infrastructure Investment Program with the Australian Government contributing $907.2 million and the Queensland Government contributing $226.8 million. Key features of the upgrade include: 

  • Bruce Highway/Sunshine Motorway interchange
  • Bruce Highway/Caloundra Road interchange
  • Western service road between Steve Irwin Way and Tanawha Tourist Drive
  • Access to the western service road and Aussie World precinct
  • Access for the future Palmview Estate
  • Widening the Bruce Highway

The contract process commenced on 3 September 2015 with the department expected to award the detailed design and construction contract in mid-2016. At this stage it is likely construction will commence late-2016 with completion of the upgrade anticipated to take about 4 years based on a dry weather schedule.

3. Boundary Road Interchange

The Department of Transport and Main Roads is upgrading the existing Boundary Road interchange on the Bruce Highway at Narangba. The $100.4 million project is jointly funded with $80.3 million provided by the federal government and $20.1 million provided by the state government. Benefits of the upgrade include:
  • a new 6-lane bridge over the highway to increase capacity and ease congestion
  • longer on and off-ramps to improve safety for motorists entering and exiting the highway
  • improved bridge clearance to avoid the need for high loads detouring on other roads
  • a new shared user path increasing safety for pedestrians and cyclists
  • the upgraded interchange will accommodate future 8-laning of the Bruce Highway

The contract to construct the project was awarded to BMD Constructions in March 2016.

4. Cattle and Frances Creeks upgrade

Detailed design works wirh AECOM Australia Pty Ltd are currently underway for the Cattle Creek and Frances Creek upgrade project. The $174 million project involves designing 5.8km of road and bridge infrastructure, which includes construction of 2 new bridges, raising the highway, upgrading several rural intersections, and improving flood immunity at the Frances Creek rest area. This project will deliver vital improvements to flood immunity, safety, freight connectivity and productivity when completed in late 2018.

5. Sandy Gully Bridge

The $57.5 million project will upgrade 3.7km of the Bruce Highway, delivering a new 2-lane bridge and improved approaches.Currently the location is subject to regular closures due to flooding and floodplain breakouts. The upgrade will deliver Q50 flood immunity on the Bruce Highway from the rail overpass at Merinda to Euri Creek. The project will also include rehabilitation and widening works at the intersections with Bergyl Street and Euri Creek Road. The project is expected to be complete in 2017. 

6. Cairns Southern Access Corridor (Stage 2)

The Cairns Southern Access Stage 2 - Robert Road to Foster Road project will widen the Bruce Highway from 4 to 6 lanes on a 2.1km section. The $58 million project is jointly funded by the Australian ($46.4 million) and Queensland ($11.6 million) governments. Stage 1 of the Cairns Bruce Highway Upgrade master plan was completed in April 2014. Construction of the Cairns Southern Access Stage 2 - Robert Road to Foster Road 6-lane widening project is programmed to start in May 2016.

7. Widening works between South Home Hill to North Ingham

The $66.4 million project includes pavement widening and strengthening works, including wide-centre line treatments, on high priority sections of the Bruce Highway between Home Hill and Ingham. The pavement widening will be combined with the application of wide centre line treatments to separate vehicles on two lane sections of the Highway, greatly reducing the risk of head on type crashes. Works are expected to be commenced in Mid 2016 and will be completed progressively through until mid-2019.

8. Arnot Creek Bridge Upgrade

Detailed design works for the replacement of the Arnot Creek Bridge (12km north of Ingham on the Bruce Highway) are now complete. The $10 million project is currently being tendered, with construction expected to commence in May 2016. The project involves replacing the current bridge with a wider bridge, and widening the approaches from their current 10m width to approximately 11.5m.  Detailed design works for the replacement of the Arnot Creek Bridge are now complete. The project is currently being tendered, with construction expected to commence in May 2016. This project will deliver vital improvements to road safety, freight connectivity and productivity when completed in December 2016. 

Click the titles of any of these projects to be lead to the project website, and learn more about the works. 

Sophia Rostron
As the Content editor at Felix (formerly PlantMiner), Sophia works behind the scenes to keep our blog machine in motion. A student of Law and Business, she's very dependent on coffee and loves any excuse to travel.

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