Captain Cook Highway, Smithfield Bypass

The Smithfield Bypass is now open to motorists, providing vital infrastructure for the northern beaches of Cairns. The bypass meets current and future strategic transport needs of the area—providing a safer, more efficient travel route for motorists and industry.

The new bypass has reduced congestion on the existing Captain Cook Highway (CCH) between McGregor Road and Cairns Western Arterial Road (CWAR), by removing through-traffic from the local road network. In particular, the bypass has improved access for nearby roads (such as the Kennedy Highway) by reducing congestion at the Smithfield roundabout.

The new 4-legged signalised intersection of CCH and CWAR allows for active control of traffic flow in peak periods and improves whole-of-network functionality.

CWAR, between the CCH and traffic signals at Caravonica State School, was upgraded to 4 lanes, including new traffic signals at the Skyrail Drive intersection.

The Smithfield Bypass is now the Captain Cook Highway.

Kudakai Crossland Connection

The existing CCH between CWAR and the McGregor Road roundabout through Smithfield was renamed Kudakai Crossland Connection, after a public consultation process including Traditional Owners.

The new name represents the rich Aboriginal culture and language of the area, and early European history.

Kudakai is an Indigenous word common to the Yirrganydji People and Tjapukai People, referring to the native Leichhardt tree which grows along the banks of Avondale Creek. The tree is a traditional source of food and medicine.

Crossland holds historical significance referring to Edwin (Ned) Crossland who was a blacksmith in Bill Smith's team—the first European settlers to cross the Kuranda Range and establish a settlement in Smithfield.

Thank you to everyone who submitted suggestions for names.

Benefits

  • Improves safety
  • Increases capacity
  • Improves network efficiency
  • Increases traffic flow
  • Reduces peak hour congestion
  • Reduces travel time
  • Contributes to regional growth
  • Better active transport

Key features

  • The new 4-legged signalised intersection of CCH and CWAR has increased capacity by allowing extra lanes and active control in peak times.
  • Two major bridges at Avondale Creek, Unnamed Road and 5 major culverts provide improved flood immunity for motorists.
  • The 2-lane, 3.8km bypass directly connecting CWAR and the CCH at McGregor Road removes through traffic from the Smithfield local road network.
  • A new overpass bridge at McGregor Road roundabout.
  • Merge and diverge lanes north of McGregor Road roundabout provide motorists access to the bypass.
  • The upgrade of CWAR to 4 lanes between the CCH/CWAR intersection and Caravonica State School.
  • Traffic signals at the Skyrail Drive intersection.
  • An off-road shared pathway from the CCH/CWAR intersection to McGregor Road roundabout to support the active transport community.
  • On-off ramps at Unnamed Road.

Funding

The project is solely funded by the Queensland Government. QTRIP investment ID 538017

Total investment
$164 million
Queensland Government
$164 million

Flythrough video

Video Transcript

We are constructing the Smithfield Bypass which provides vital infrastructure for the northern beaches of Cairns and meets the strategic transport needs of the area into the future.

The new bypass will deliver a safer, more efficient travel route for motorists and industry between Cairns Western Arterial Road intersection with the Captain Cook Highway and McGregor Road roundabout at Smithfield.

Cairns Western Arterial Road will be upgraded to 4 lanes from the school to the highway, and new traffic signals installed at the Cairns Western Arterial Road and Skyrail Drive intersection.

At the intersection of Captain Cook Highway and Cairns Western Arterial Road, a new 4-legged signalised intersection will replace the existing roundabout, increasing capacity now and providing for future growth.

The new 2-lane 3.8km Smithfield Bypass will separate through traffic from local traffic and ease congestion at roundabouts along the existing section of the highway.

The new bypass road is the equivalent to 6-laning the existing Captain Cook Highway through Smithfield.

We are making travel safer and more efficient for motorists and industry catering for current and future traffic volumes.

Better, safer facilities will be provided for cyclists and pedestrians with the construction of a new shared pathway.

A new overpass is under construction over the McGregor Road roundabout, with on and off ramps making it easier for motorists to access.

This $164 million upgrade is currently under construction and will be completed by late 2021.

We're committed to helping you get where you need to be safely and on time.

Tree planting

Video Transcript

Today was about building a night of corridor for fauna, from Avondale Creek to Cattana Wetlands.

We had about hundred people of the local community out and children and it was very well received by everybody.

I brought the kids down to plant some trees and have some fun and help the environment.

I believe they enjoyed themselves very much, they had a nice sausage sizzle and in the sand planning.

It was really fun, actually.

The kids loved it and yeah, it was good.

The plants were of the local native species to the area were all planted through here.

Quite a few of our team members, directing everybody as well as planting with their families.

We have worked with the Cairns City Council, volunteers with the tree planning exercises throughout the job on various projects.

And by the end, we hope to have 50,000 trees for this whole project.

Empowering Indigenous trainees

Video Transcript

We're doing the median infills on the Smithfield Bypass. The Smithfield Bypass is very significant to the local people.

We acknowledge the Yirrganydji and also our other families to the north, south east, and west of us. Young Indigenous people on this land is very special and dear to my heart.

We are giving back but also we are moving forward.

I'd love to do this long term, so said if it helps us know the people and everything the younger generation is good .Apart of being a major civil contractor in an area you try and support the local companies as well as the local people and here we are in collaboration now with the UBC which is providing a pathway for young Indigenous kids into the community and teaching them valuable skills and giving them a pathway and a career.

Headstock installation time-lapse

We are constructing the Smithfield Bypass which provides vital infrastructure for the northern beaches of Cairns and meets the strategic transport needs of the area into the future.

The new bypass will deliver a safer, more efficient travel route for motorists and industry between Cairns Western Arterial Road intersection with the Captain Cook Highway and McGregor Road roundabout at Smithfield.

Cairns Western Arterial Road will be upgraded to 4 lanes from the school to the highway, and new traffic signals installed at the Cairns Western Arterial Road and Skyrail Drive intersection.

At the intersection of Captain Cook Highway and Cairns Western Arterial Road, a new 4-legged signalised intersection will replace the existing roundabout, increasing capacity now and providing for future growth.

The new 2-lane 3.8km Smithfield Bypass will separate through traffic from local traffic and ease congestion at roundabouts along the existing section of the highway.

The new bypass road is the equivalent to 6-laning the existing Captain Cook Highway through Smithfield.

We are making travel safer and more efficient for motorists and industry catering for current and future traffic volumes.

Better, safer facilities will be provided for cyclists and pedestrians with the construction of a new shared pathway.

A new overpass is under construction over the McGregor Road roundabout, with on and off ramps making it easier for motorists to access.

This $164 million upgrade is currently under construction and will be completed by late 2021.

We're committed to helping you get where you need to be safely and on time.

Enhancing habitat connectivity

Video Transcript

Vision of small planted trees

Geoff, Cattana Wetlands Volunteer, Cairns: 'The tree planting is really important - not only will it significantly enhance the aesthetics of the highway for the local community, it will in time build a wildlife corridor right through to Avondale Creek and then up to the mountain range'.

Current status

The Smithfield Bypass opened in November 2021.

Final layout map

Captain Cook Highway—Smithfield Bypass Project: final layout map November 2020