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Mackay Ring Road Project

The Department of Transport and Main Roads is investigating a ring road for Mackay. 

To date, key industry representatives and Mackay Regional Council have played an important role in helping to understand the issues and growth requirements for the region’s future.

The key findings from the Mackay Ring Road public consultation are now available.

As the Mackay Ring Road Project is currently in the planning stages, there is no funding commitment at this time. 

On this page:

Why does Mackay need a ring road?

Mackay is one of Queensland’s fastest growing regions with this growth expected to continue over the next 2 decades. By 2031, it is anticipated:

  • population of Mackay area will increase by over 50,000
  • 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 be over 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 will need to be explored.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads recognises that we need to plan now for the future. 

How was the ring road identified? 

As part of the Mackay Ring Road Project, the Department of Transport and Main Roads has been undertaking a planning study to investigate a ring road for Mackay, from the Bruce Highway-Stockroute Road intersection in the south, to the Bruce Highway-Bald Hill Road intersection in the north, and east to the Mackay Port. 

The $10 million study is funded by the Australian Government under the Regional Infrastructure Fund.

The aim of the study is to identify a ring road to:

  • improve freight efficiency in the Mackay area
  • improve road safety
  • protect and maintain the integrity of the national road network
  • improve road access between industrial areas and the Mackay Port
  • improve road access between homes and jobs.

The study began in October 2011 and is due for completion in 2013.

Key benefits of a ring road

The ring road provides for the needs of heavy vehicle, long-haul, commuting, and industry (sugar, mine and port) traffic, with benefits ensuing to the functionality of the local, regional and national networks including:

  • improved safety as fuel and sugar trucks are removed from built up areas
  • improved connectivity for industry to the Port
  • 40% of all heavy vehicles will divert from the city’s current bridges
  • improved connectivity between home and jobs
  • 12 signalised intersections from the Port to the Peak Downs Highway are avoided
  • reduced congestion on the whole network as traffic is transferred to the ring road.

Ring road proposal  

The plans for the ring road proposal have been staged according to the following timeframes:

  • Stage 1 (5 – 10 years)
  • Stage 2 (10 – 15 years)
  • Beyond 15 years

The key features and designs for each stage are included below:

Stage 1 (5 - 10 years)

  • Construction of 11.6km 2-lane rural highway from Bruce Highway South Intersection at Stockroute Road, to the Bruce Highway North Intersection at Bald Hill.
  • Connections at Stockroute Road Intersection and Peak Downs Highway Intersection.
  • New river crossing.
  • Heavy vehicle and through traffic bypass of Mackay.

Stage 2 (10 - 15 years)

  • Construction of 8.2km of 2-lane rural highway from Bruce Highway North Intersection at Bald Hill, to Harbour Road Intersection at Harbour Road.
  • Connections at Glenella-Richmond Road and Valley Street.
  • Connection of northern suburbs to the Paget Industrial Area.
  • Strategic connections between the Port, Racecourse Mill and the mines to the west.

Beyond 15 years

  • Construction of additional connections to the Port and Slade Point to support future Port development.
  • Intersection upgrading and additional traffic lanes as required.


Section maps

Contact details 

For more information on the ring road, please contact the project team.

Phone: 07 4951 8614
Post: MRRPS Reply Paid 85132
Mackay Caneland QLD 4740

Australian Government Regional Infrastructure Fund

 Queensland Government Coat of Arms

Aerial view of the Mackay region


Last updated
12 February 2014