Cairns Ring Road CBD to Smithfield

We are progressing the planning for a $359 million program of road upgrades on Captain Cook Highway between Cairns and Smithfield.

As part of this project, we are undertaking an early works package on the section of Captain Cook Highway between Airport Avenue and James Street.


  • Improves network resilience
  • Improves network efficiency
  • Reduces travel time
  • Improves safety


The project is funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments and was announced as part of the 2019-20 federal budget.

The total commitment for the project is $359 million with the Australian Government contributing $287.2 million and the Queensland Government $71.8 million (80:20).

Total investment
$359 million
Australian Government
$287.2 million
Queensland Government
$71.8 million

The planning study will examine the wider Cairns City road network, to inform the options analysis, and the prioritisation and staging framework for construction along the route.

The type of future work to be undertaken, subject to the findings of the planning study, will typically include a range of:

  • total network solutions, completed in stages
  • road widening
  • intersection safety upgrades
  • intelligent Transport Systems
  • active transport improvements
  • public transport improvements. 

Cairns Ring Road alignment map

Cairns Ring Road CBD to Smithfield

Airport Avenue to James Street early works

Airport Avenue to James Street early works