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Mackay Ring Road

As part of the 2014 budget, the federal government has allocated funding of $6.7 billion to improve the Bruce Highway. The construction of the Mackay Ring Road was identified as a priority project to be delivered under this funding allocation.

The federal government is committing $448 million (80 percent) out of the project’s total cost of $560 million to construct Stage 1 of the Ring Road. The state government is contributing a further $112 million.

Improvements to Stage 1 of the Mackay Ring Road

The concept for Stage 1 of the Ring Road has been developed based on recent constructive feedback, and input received during the public consultation period in May 2013.

At this stage, the updated plans are an indicative view of the proposed Ring Road. The detailed design phase of the project will further refine these concepts and establish precise land requirements.

Key enhancements made for Stage 1 of the project include:

  • Improvements to access arrangements for private properties.
  • Provision of an underpass at Stotts Road for local traffic and farming activities.
  • Provision of an underpass south of Gibsons Road for local traffic and farming activities.
  • A modified on-ramp from the Peak Downs Highway to the proposed Ring Road near Te Kowai Foulden Road.
  • Extension of a southbound overtaking lane (from Lagoon Creek to south of Peak Downs Highway overpass).
  • Relocation of vehicle inspection bays near Te Kowai Foulden Road.
  • Minor amendments to curves approaching the Bruce Highway north intersection.
  • Provision for a connection to Bald Hill Road in Stage 2.

Visit our latest plans page for updated plans showing the current proposed layout of the Ring Road in your area.   

What’s the current status of the project?

The project is currently in the Development Phase and is due to commence detailed geotechnical investigations in August. These investigations will involve drilling works at high embankment areas and bridge site investigations.

Detailed ground survey is progressing well and on track for completion in late October.

Visit our project progress and timeline page to know more about the progress of the project to date.

What's next?

Detailed design for Stage 1 of the project is due to commence early 2015 and is expected to take two years to complete. This is a crucial component of the Development Phase, as it will finalise the land requirements for the project using results obtained from the detailed ground survey.

Visit our project progress and timeline page to know more about the detailed design stage.

Why does Mackay need a ring road?

Mackay is one of Queensland’s fastest growing regions, with rapid population and economic development contributing to significant congestion and safety issues.

Mackay has historically experienced a population growth of approximately 3000 people every year. Strong growth is expected to continue over the next two decades.

By 2031, it is anticipated the:   

  • Population of Mackay area will increase by over 50,000 people, resulting in a forecasted population of over 180,000 people.
  • Volume of traffic on Nebo Road will exceed capacity, compromising safety.
  • Daily cross river traffic will increase by 70% and the city’s existing bridges will exceed capacity during peak periods.
  • Imports at Mackay Port will have doubled.  
  • Number of fuel trucks on the road will have doubled to service expansion of the Bowen Basin.
  • Current route from the Port to the Bruce Highway will be heavily congested.
  • Existing Paget Industrial Area will have reached capacity and further residential expansion in north Mackay may need to be explored.

As Mackay grows, Transport and Main Roads recognises the need for a Ring Road to better prepare the region for future growth.

What's in it for Mackay?

The Ring Road will cater for the differing needs of heavy freight vehicles and private vehicle traffic. It will reduce the frequency of hazardous loads travelling through the city centre, and significantly improve the operation of local, regional and national road networks.

Key benefits from Stage 1 of the project will include:

  • Reduced congestion on the network as traffic is transferred to the Ring Road.
  • Reduced traffic demands on Nebo Road, with a two lane rural highway deviation approximately 11.3km in length.
  • Reduced travel times by avoiding 10 signalised intersections from Stockroute Road to Bald Hill.
  • 80km/h and 100km/h speed limit (compared to a 60km/h urban network).
  • Improved safety by removing fuel and sugar trucks from travelling through built up areas.
  • Major bridges over Pioneer River and the Fursden Creek floodplain.
  • Overpasses of local roads and rail network.
  • Improved connectivity for industry to the Port.

Want to know more or provide feedback?

To learn more about the project, or to provide your feedback, please contact the project team.

Contact details

Phone: 07 4951 8555 – 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
Contact centre services: 13 19 40 – for the latest information on road works and closures.
13QGOV – 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
Post: PO Box 62
Mackay Qld 4740
Last updated
21 January 2015