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Bruce Highway Upgrade Program

The Bruce Highway Upgrade Program is the largest road infrastructure program that Queensland has ever seen. The 10-year program (2013-14 to 2022-23) is aimed at improving safety, flood resilience and capacity along the length and breadth of the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns. The $8.5 billion investment is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, with the Australian Government contributing $6.7 billion and the Queensland Government contributing $1.8 billion.

In May 2018, the Australian Government committed an additional $3.3 billion (based on 80:20 funding arrangements) for continued upgrades of the Bruce Highway. This new funding includes specific commitments for the Cooroy to Curra – Section D project and further upgrades from Pine Rivers to Caloundra. This takes the Australian Government commitment to the Bruce Highway to a total of $10 billion over 15 years (2013-14 to 2027-28).

Under its Future-proofing the Bruce policy, the Queensland Government has committed to providing $200 million each year (based on 80:20 funding arrangements) for upgrades on the Bruce Highway. The policy outlined specific commitments for Cooroy to Curra – Section D and Townsville Ring Road (Stage 5) project (subject to federal funding contribution), as well as additional funding for:

  • targeted productivity-boosting, safety and flood resilience projects 
  • addressing safety hot spots
  • reducing the distance between electric charging stations
  • the Bruce Highway Trust to develop a 15-year vision and rolling 5-year action plans.

Program update: July 2017

About the Bruce Highway

The Bruce Highway is Queensland’s major north-south freight and commuter corridor, connecting coastal population centres from Brisbane to Cairns over a length of 1,677 kilometres. It is also a vital part of the National Land Transport Network providing linkages for west-east freight networks connecting a significant resource sector, and inland agriculture production areas to 11 coastal ports, and is a major tourism route.

Traffic levels on the Bruce Highway range from 4,000 to around 145,000 vehicles per day.

About the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program

The program commenced on 1 July 2013, with a rolling program of upgrade projects up and down the highway, to be completed by June 2023.

The 10 year program focuses delivery on the following 3 priority areas:

  • Safety improvements to enhance the safety of the highway through the provision of wide centre line treatments, intersection improvements, and safety barriers to reduce the risk of fatal and serious injury crashes so that it is safe for all road users.
  • Flood improvements to enhance the efficiency of the highway by raising bridges and approaches and improving flood immunity on sections of highway subject to frequent flooding. Whilst it may not be feasible at this time to provide an entirely flood-free route, roads are assessed to ensure a consistent standard is provided for that specific network link.
  • Capacity improvements to enhance economic opportunity through improved level of service on the highway. This will be achieved by the provision of capacity improvement projects such as additional lanes, managed motorways, grade separation (that is, separation of different flows of traffic using physical means) and intersection upgrades.


Upgrading the Bruce Highway will bring significant benefits to the road user as well as the communities along the highway, including:

  • a safer road
  • reduced travel time
  • increased resilience to flooding
  • increased reliability of the network during flooding events
  • improved freight efficiency.

The Program supports regional economic growth and boosts employment opportunities in Queensland.

Last updated
05 November 2018