Bruce Highway -Tiaro Flood Immunity Upgrade (Tiaro Bypass)

We are delivering a new two-lane section of the Bruce Highway to the east of Tiaro. The project will increase the flood immunity, safety and efficiency of the Bruce Highway and future-proof the road to cater for growing traffic volumes. It will also remove a large portion of heavy vehicles from the Tiaro township, improving safety and liveability for residents.

The Bruce Highway at Tiaro contains 3 flood zones, variable speed limits (including a 40km/h school zone), a signalised pedestrian crossing, over 50 direct property accesses and intersections and a mix of local and through highway traffic.

Flood related highway closures at Tiaro lead to disruption of freight and passenger traffic, with no diversion route. These closures have a significant impact on the national road transport network and result in the isolation of the Tiaro township during significant flood events. Motorist reports suggest delays at Tiaro during peak travel times result in substantial queues on the highway in both directions.

In 2019, we completed early investigations into options for addressing these issues, as part of the Preliminary Evaluation stage of the Queensland Government's Project Assessment Framework. An evaluation was undertaken to compare the performance of 2 options:

  • an upgrade of the existing highway at the flood-affected locations
  • construction of a new highway bypassing Tiaro to the east of the township.

The bypass option was found to represent better value for money, deliver more benefits, and have greater community support, than the existing highway upgrade option.

Benefits

  • Improves safety
  • Increases capacity
  • Improves network efficiency
  • Increases traffic flow
  • Reduces peak hour congestion
  • Improves flood immunity
  • Contributes to regional growth

Key features

  • New two-lane highway east of Tiaro
  • Designed to reduce costs of future four-laning
  • Flood-free (designed for a 1 in 100 year flood event)
  • Connections to Tiaro for residents and visitors

Funding

The project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.

Total investment
$107 million
Australian Government
$85.6 million
Queensland Government
$21.4 million

Consultation

The community will continue to be involved in the Tiaro Bypass project. We will keep the community informed of the project’s progress and will provide opportunities for the Tiaro community and other stakeholders to provide input and feedback on the project.

The project is in the Business Case Development stage of the Queensland Government's Project Assessment Framework.

Current status

We have identified a proposed alignment for the new Tiaro Bypass. The 8km alignment runs to the east of Tiaro, leaving the existing Bruce Highway north of Bauple Drive and reconnecting to the existing Bruce Highway near Wilsons Road. The Wilsons Road intersection will be upgraded to improve safety.

The proposed bypass alignment is within the corridor study area that was identified by TMR in late 2019. The alignment was selected to minimise impacts on property owners, adjacent residents, sensitive environment areas, waterways and heritage artefacts.

We are now underway with work on the draft design of the new highway.

These investigations will include:

  • consultation with the community, local government, businesses and other stakeholders to inform the draft design for the bypass
  • an assessment of different highway alignment options within the identified bypass corridor
  • technical and environmental investigations to inform alignment options and the draft design for the bypass.
  • We will seek approval from the Australian Government (funding partner) on the project scope and draft design before proceeding to a detailed design.

    Tiaro Bypass alignment

    Tiaro Flood map

    Community feedback 

    How has feedback been considered to date?

    Feedback from initial consultation in early 2019 showed there was greater support for a bypass than an upgrade of the existing highway. This feedback also suggested there is concern about potential economic impacts of a bypass. This has been a key consideration for us in planning the next steps for the project.

    We will work with Fraser Coast Regional Council, the Tiaro community and businesses throughout the project to identify opportunities that can be harnessed from the bypass. A working group will be established to represent the community (including business operators) and to prioritise and act on identified opportunities.

    Research indicates bypasses are usually beneficial in the medium to long term. Negative impacts tend to be short-lived, with the positives far outweighing negatives.

    Research into town bypasses

    Please note the following links will redirect you to another website. Please contact us if you have any difficulty accessing these resources, and we will email you a copy of the reports.

    Economic Evaluation of Town Bypasses - Review of Literature 
    Economic Impacts of Town Bypasses – Final Report
    Kempsey Post Bypass Impacts
    Karuah Bypass Economic and Social Impacts - Five Year Report