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Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade Project (Bruce Highway Horseshoe Lagoon – Palm Creek)


Program of safety and flood immunity upgrades on the Bruce Highway at Giru, including wider and higher-level bridges, reconfigured intersections and 13.5km of upgraded highway pavement across the Haughton River Floodplain.


Bruce Highway at Giru, across the Haughton River Floodplain (50km south of Townsville).


Preliminary works have been underway onsite since August 2018. 

Construction of the new bridges and approaches will increase from April 2019, and construction is expected to be completed mid–2021.


This upgrade will improve safety and efficiency for road users, as well as significantly improving flood immunity of the busy Bruce Highway.


The project is being delivered by The Infrastructure Group (TIG), a joint venture between Bielby, BMD Constructions, JF Hull and Albem Pty Ltd, on behalf of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.


The Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project is being funded and delivered as part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

The $514.3 million project funding includes:

  • $411.4 million committed by the Australian Government
  • $102.9 million committed by the Queensland Government. 
Northern Region

Project info

This section of the Bruce Highway closes, on average, every 1 to 2 years, significantly affecting locals, tourists, transport operators, and other motorists.

Once these upgrades are completed, the severity and frequency of closures will be greatly reduced (from an average of 55 hours to between 15 and 22 hours in a 1-in-50 year weather event.

The floodplain is impacted by a variety of factors and is considered among the most complex in Queensland.
As part of the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project we will:

  • replace the Horseshoe Lagoon, Pink Lily and Haughton River bridges with new, wider, higher-level bridges
  • build new crossings of Healey’s Lagoon and the Reed Beds curve
  • upgrade 13.5km of the Bruce Highway (on approach to, and between the bridges), in some areas on a new alignment
  • construct 2 highway overpasses of open-level cane tramway crossings, removing interactions between highway and cane traffic
  • upgrade rural intersections within the project area to improve safety
  • install wide centre line treatments (similar to other, recent Bruce Highway projects) to increase the distance between oncoming lanes of traffic and reduce the risk of head-on collisions. 

This project is part of the 10-year Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, an $8.5 billion program of works to improve safety, flood resilience and capacity along the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns. The program is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, with the Australian Government contributing up to $6.7 billion and the Queensland Government contributing up to $1.8 billion.

Local participation

An average of 544 direct jobs will be supported over the life of the project.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads is committed to maximising opportunities for local business and people to get involved in delivering the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project. Construction contractor The Infrastructure Group will also adhere to the requirements of the Queensland Procurement Policy 2017 while delivering the upgrades.

To register your interest in supplying or working on the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project, contact us using the details below.

Project timeline

  • 2015 to 2017: planning studies for the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project; community consultation.
  • May 2017: tenders called for design and construction.
  • March 2018: design and construct contract awarded to The Infrastructure Group; design commenced.
  • August 2018: start of preliminary works onsite as part of the project.
  • April 2019: start of major construction works.
  • Mid-2021: project construction complete (weather and construction program permitting).

Community info

Project map

Project map

Contact details

The project’s Customer and Stakeholder Management team is committed to listening to stakeholders and values all community feedback during the project’s planning and construction.

For more information about this project, including current construction notifications, or to sign up to receive information, contact:

Phone: 1800 625 648

Media gallery

The current Haughton River Bridge.

The current Haughton River Bridge.
The current Haughton River Bridge.

Drilling in the Haughton River as part of preliminary works onsite.
Drilling in the Haughton River as part of preliminary works onsite.

Core penetration testing south of Healey's Lagoon, as part of preliminary works onsite.
Core penetration testing south of Healey's Lagoon, as part of preliminary works onsite.

Last updated
08 April 2019