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Gillies Range Road High Risk Roads Safety Upgrades Project


The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) will deliver an $18.18 million package of safety upgrade works to 4 sections of Gillies Range Road between Gordonvale and Atherton.

This stretch of the road is a key freight, commuter and tourism corridor.


Gillies Range Road between Gordonvale and Atherton.


Construction is expected to be completed by February 2022, weather permitting.


This project will deliver significant long-term improvements to traffic flow and safety at key intersections.

Once complete, the upgrade works will create a safer road environment to travel through by:

  • reducing the risk of head-on and fatigue-related crashes and serious injuries caused by an out-of-control vehicle leaving the road 
  • minimising the number of rear-end and sideswipe crashes and crash severity
  • improving traffic flow and increasing intersection capacity.

The Queensland Government has committed funding of $18.18 million to deliver this package of safety works.

The works are part of a $112 million program of safety works being delivered across Queensland over the next 3 years, as part of the High Risk Roads Targeted Road Safety Program.

Project info

Gillies Range Road is not an approved route for multi-combination vehicles, but it is still used by heavy vehicles including 19m semi-trailers. Heavy vehicles comprise up to 10% of the total traffic volumes. It is a major tourist route with 4WD vehicles, mobile homes and cars with caravans intermixed with tourist buses, rental cars and commuter traffic.

Traffic volumes on various sections between Gordonvale and Atherton are up to 8,106 vehicles per day. (2018 Annual average daily traffic)

Project scope

The works include:

  • installing a roundabout at an existing T-intersection to reduce crash frequency and severity 
  • minor intersection improvements such as, additional channelised turning lanes, to reduce the number of rear-end and sideswipe crashes, improve traffic flow and increase the intersection capacity
  • installing wide centre line treatments at suitable locations, to reduce the risk of head-on crashes 
  • installing audible tactile line marking (centre line and edge lines), to reduce the risk of fatigue-related crashes
  • installing new guardrail and wire-rope barriers, to reduce the risk of serious injuries caused by an out-of-control vehicle leaving the road
  • static and electronic signage on 4 sections of Gillies Range Road between Gordonvale and Atherton.

The following treatments will occur in 4 sections along Gillies Range Road, as follows:

1. Gordonvale to the bottom of the range

  • Installation of 4 Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) warning signs to remind motorists of the posted speed limit and increase driver awareness of the curves on this section of road. 

2. Gillies Range

  • The removal of pullover bays on this section to increase safety for vehicles on tight curves.
  • Installation of new guardrail and extension of existing guardrail.
  • Installation of curve alignment markers.
  • Vegetation clearing.
  • Additional signs and line marking will improve visibility and assist drivers to control vehicle speed and maintain lane position on this section of the range.

3. Top of the range to Yungaburra

  • Installation of wide centre-line treatment and increased road width on several sections of Gillies Range Road.
  • The upgrade of Powley Road intersection, including road widening for right and left turning movements.
  • The installation of VAS and additional static signs on the approaches to 2 intersections, Russell Pocket Road and Wrights Creek Road.
  • Improved line marking, and changes to the traffic islands at Lake Barrine Road intersection.
  • Upgrade signs and guideposts.

4. Yungaburra to Atherton

  • Upgrading the T-intersection at Cook Street in Atherton.

Media gallery

Atherton to Gordonvale map

Atherton to Gordonvale map

Latest news

Project updates

For up-to-date information on road closures and traffic conditions across Queensland, go to  or call 13 19 40.

Contact details

For more information about the project, please contact the project team.

Phone: 07 4045 7038
Post: The Gillies Range Road High Risk Roads safety upgrades
Department of Transport and Main Roads
Far North District
PO Box 6185
Cairns QLD 4870
Last updated
18 March 2020