Kennedy Highway—(Cairns-Mareeba), road safety enhancement works

This project delivered safety upgrades to more than 31km of the Kennedy Highway between Kuranda and Mareeba.

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

The traffic volume between Smithfield and Kuranda is about 8,900 vehicles per day (2018) reducing to about 6,100 per day between Kuranda and Emerald Creek, before increasing to about 7,800 vehicles per day between Emerald Creek and Mareeba.

According to crash data reports, the Kennedy Highway from Cairns to Mareeba ranked highly for key risk indicators compared to other state-controlled roads with a very high number of crashes.

This program of safety upgrades delivered significant long-term improvements to traffic flow and safety at key intersections, improving safety for motorists.


  • Improves safety
  • Increases capacity
  • Improves network efficiency
  • Increases traffic flow
  • Contributes to economy
  • Contributes to regional growth

Key features

  • Upgraded priority intersections where there was a history of crashes and near-misses, including:
    • Fallon Road/Warril Drive
    • Speewah Road
    • Palm Valley Road
    • Kanervo Road
    • Spena Road
    • Tichum Creek Quarry Road
    • Kay Road
    • Shroj Road
    • Gilmore Road.
  • Wide centre line treatment at suitable locations, to reduce the risk of head-on crashes by separating oncoming traffic lanes.
  • Audio tactile line marking (centreline and edge lines), to reduce the risk of fatigue-related crashes by providing noise when vehicles veer onto audible lines.
  • Safety barriers to reduce the risk of serious injuries caused by an out-of-control vehicle leaving the road.
  • Overtaking lane near Koah to allow for safe overtaking of slower vehicles.


This project was fully funded by the Queensland Government as part of the High Risk Roads Targeted Road Safety Program being delivered across Queensland.
Investment ID 1119158, 1119625, 1119767, 1120005, 1120007 and 1120010

Total investment
$45 million
Queensland Government
$45 million

Current status

Construction was completed in July 2023.

Kennedy Highway Kuranda to Mareeba safety upgrades project map

Kennedy Highway Kuranda to Mareeba Safety Upgrades Project map