Planning progresses on $359m Cairns Ring Road in QLD

Monica Gameng   |   February 14, 2022
Ring road (cr: Queensland Government)

A $359 million program of works that will improve the Captain Cook Highway in Queensland is gearing up towards construction as it progresses through the planning stage. 

With field investigations now underway on the Cairns Ring Road, the project is a step closer to becoming a reality. These investigations will include gathering initial geotechnical data as well as topographical surveys at key areas of the route. 

“Careful planning and design are vital to ensure a successful outcome for the project, which is critical to better connect the Cairns Port and Cairns Airport with key agricultural producing areas within the Atherton Tablelands, Cape York Peninsula and Mossman. 

“This milestone brings us another step closer to realising the benefits of this project, which we are getting done to provide locals, tourists and freight with a better drive along this route. 

“Since 2013 the Australian Government has committed to delivering more than $14 billion in regional road improvements across Queensland, supporting more than 30,000 jobs and boosting the economy,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said. 

The Queensland Government is also committed to delivering better road and transport infrastructure in Far North Queensland. 

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said: “The Captain Cook Highway is critical for Cairns, so it’s important that we continue to progress with planning to improve safety, reduce congestion and prepare for the growth in the region. 

“That is why we are delivering over $1.7 billion in road and transport infrastructure in the Far North region, as part of our sixth record road and transport plan.” 

In addition to improving road safety on the Captain Cook Highway, the Cairns Ring Road will also help reduce congestion, improve freight efficiency as well as provide access to gateways once it opens to traffic. 

“The project will deliver significant and improved upgrades along the Captain Cook Highway, from the Cairns CBD to Smithfield. 

“But more importantly, it will bust congestion, especially during morning and afternoon peak hours along the route for the 45,000 motorists who use the road daily,” Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said. 

Cairns Ring Road Master AlignmentCairns Ring Road alignment map (source: Department of Transport and Main Roads)

The Cairns Ring Road project builds on the Smithfield Bypass that was successfully delivered. 

According to State Member for Barron River Craig Crawford, the Smithfield Bypass is a gamechanger for locals as it is a vital piece of infrastructure for the local community. 

“Just this week we also announced the final option for the Cairns Western Arterial Road duplication project between Redlynch Connector Road and Captain Cook Highway. 

“These projects, alongside the Cairns Ring Road, are examples of the Palaszczuk Government connecting communities and getting Queenslanders home sooner and safer,” Mr Crawford said. 

While planning for the Cairns Ring Road is progressing, a package of works on the Captain Cook Highway between Airport Avenue and James Street will also ramp up to further improve safety along the highway. 

“Early works are expected to start in June, weather and construction conditions permitting. 

“With a growing city, it is essential that we continue to invest in essential infrastructure and the Cairns Ring Road is a key part of that infrastructure,” State Member for Cairns Michael Healy said. 

Geotechnical testing for the Cairns Ring Road will commence in the coming weeks and will take about six weeks to complete. 

Subject to findings from the planning study, scope of works for the Cairns Ring Road could include: 

  • Total network solutions, completed in stages 
  • Road widening 
  • Intersection safety upgrades 
  • Intelligent Transport Systems 
  • Active transport improvements 
  • Public transport improvements 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements; Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development; Queensland Government – Department of Transport and Main Roads 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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