Bruce Highway Upgrade Program

The Bruce Highway Upgrade Program is the largest road infrastructure program in Queensland, aimed at enhancing safety, flood resilience, and capacity along the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns. It was initiated on 1 July 2013, with a 10-year commitment valued at $8.5 billion, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments.

Over the years, the program received additional funding commitments. In May 2018, the Australian Government committed an additional $3.3 billion (based on 80:20 funding arrangements) to its existing $6.7 billion commitment. Furthermore, the Queensland Government committed an additional $200 million annually, on top of the initial $1.8 billion they had already provided, following an 80:20 funding arrangement.

In 2022, a jointly funded boost of $883 million was introduced specifically to target upgrades to various sections of the Bruce Highway, including areas between Gladstone and Rockhampton, Mackay and Proserpine, north of Townsville, and the Tiaro Bypass.

Overall, the program will deliver $13 billion of works over a 15-year period, spanning from 2013–14 to 2027–28.

To ensure proper management and oversight, the Queensland Government established the Bruce Highway Trust Advisory Council. This council is responsible for developing a 15-year Vision and three 5-year rolling Action Plans, along with the Safer Bruce 2030 Action Plan, on this nationally significant link to:

  • unlock economic growth
  • boost employment
  • build flood resilience and
  • improve safety.

The Bruce Highway Trust Advisory Council is supported by a Technical Working Group established within the department comprising technical and subject-matter experts.

Highlights at the 10-year mark

As the 10-year mark (1 July 2023), approximately 64% of total $13 billion program has been successfully delivered, in accordance with set delivery targets. The Bruce Highway Upgrade Program is on track with the delivery to date of: 

  • 109 new bridges
  • 63 new and upgraded rest areas
  • 420km roadside safety barriers
  • 72 township entry treatments
  • 235km wide centre line treatments
  • 102km pavement rehabilitation
  • 95 new overtaking lanes
  • 189 protected right-hand turns
  • 42km of highway duplication
  • 7 flood immunity upgrade projects completed.

About the Bruce Highway

The Bruce Highway is a crucial transportation route in Queensland, serving as the major north-south freight and commuter corridor, connecting various coastal population centres from Brisbane to Cairns over a total length of 1,673km. It plays a vital role in the National Land Transport Network linking west-east freight networks, connecting resource sectors, inland agriculture production areas, and coastal ports, while also serving as a major tourism route.

About the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program

The Bruce Highway Upgrade focuses on the 3 priority areas during its 15-year course:

  • Safety improvements these measures aim to enhance the safety of the highway by implementing wide centre line treatments, intersection improvements, and safety barriers to reduce the risk of fatal and serious injury crashes for all road users.
  • Flood improvements by raising bridges and approaches and enhancing flood immunity on sections of the highway that are subject to frequent flooding. Whilst it may not be feasible at this time to provide an entirely flood-free route, roads are assessed to ensure a consistent standard is provided for that specific network link.
  • Capacity improvements to enhance economic opportunity through improved level of service on the highway. This is achieved through capacity improvement projects, including additional lanes, managed motorways, grade separation (separation of different flows of using physical means), and intersection upgrades.

Plan ahead in case of delays

As with any major construction program, there might be delays that could affect travel. Therefore, it is advised to plan ahead and check for up-to-date details on QLDTraffic to help you plan your journey.

40 Projects in Bruce Highway Upgrade Program

Burdekin River Bridge

Burdekin River Bridge, rehabilitation program

The department is undertaking the rehabilitation and maintenance program for the Burdekin River Bridge to preserve the structural integrity of the bridge. The ongoing program will ensure a safe and durable crossing is maintained for the long-term use of vehicles, heavy transport operators, rail operations, bicycle riders and pedestrians.

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Brisbane to Sunshine Coast Rail Corridor Strategy

We are developing a rail corridor vision and a staged program of rail priorities to 2051 on the North Coast Line between Brisbane and Gympie North.

Bruce Highway (Ayr - Townsville), Killymoon Creek to Townsville Port Road, improve intersection

The upgrades to the Bruce Highway intersections at Allendale Drive, Three Sisters Drive, and Muntalunga Drive have successfully been completed.

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Bruce Highway (Bowen – Ayr), Bowen Connection Road to Champion Street intersection, widen pavement

The project has delivered safety upgrades to around 6km of the Bruce Highway between the Bowen Connection Road and Champion Street intersections to provide a safer, smoother and more efficient road network.

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Bruce Highway (Bowen-Ayr), Inkerman overtaking lane and safety improvement projects

Safety on the Bruce Highway at Inkerman will be improved through the installation of new northbound overtaking opportunity and upgrades to the Mount Inkerman Road intersection.

Aerial view of Anzac Avenue to Uhlmann Road

Bruce Highway (Brisbane - Gympie), Anzac Avenue to Uhlmann Road upgrade, business case

The department is planning to upgrade the Bruce Highway from Anzac Avenue, North Lakes to Uhlmann Road, Burpengary.

Aerial view of Buchannan Road to Caboolture-Bribie Island Road

Bruce Highway (Brisbane - Gympie), Buchanan Road to Caboolture-Bribie Island Road upgrade, business case

The department is planning to upgrade the Bruce Highway from Buchanan Road, Morayfield to Caboolture-Bribie Island, Caboolture.

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Bruce Highway (Brisbane - Gympie), Caboolture - Bribie Island Road to Steve Irwin Way upgrade

Major construction was completed for the Bruce Highway Upgrade — Caboolture-Bribie Island Road to Steve Irwin Way project in April 2024. This project widened the 11km stretch of the Bruce Highway from 4 to 6 lanes between Caboolture-Bribie Island Road and Steve Irwin Way (Exit 163). This also included upgrading creek crossings to improve flood immunity at Lagoon, King Johns, Six Mile, Un-named and Beerburrum Creeks.

Aerial view of Uhlmann Road to Buchanan Road

Bruce Highway (Brisbane - Gympie), Uhlmann Road to Buchanan Road upgrade, business case

The department is planning to upgrade the Bruce Highway from the Uhlmann Road, Burpengary to Buchanan Road, Morayfield.

Aerial view of multiple roads and houses

Bruce Highway (Brisbane-Gympie), Dohles Rocks Road to Anzac Avenue upgrade funding commitment

The Bruce Highway (Dohles Rocks Road to Anzac Avenue) business case has developed a staged approach to manage increasing traffic demands on this section of the Bruce Highway.

Deep Creek bridges looking south west

Bruce Highway (Cooroy to Curra) Section D

The $1 billion Section D: Woondum to Curra project is a new 26km, 4-lane divided highway between the existing Bruce Highway interchange at Woondum, south of Gympie and Curra.

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Bruce Highway (Gympie – Maryborough), Tiaro Bypass, construct four lane bypass

Planning is complete and the detailed design stage has commenced for a new four-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 significant number of heavy vehicles from the Tiaro township, improving safety and liveability for residents.

Gairloch floodway on the Bruce Highway north of Ingham

Bruce Highway (Ingham – Innisfail), Gairloch Floodway, improve safety

Planning has started to improve safety and reduce the time of closure due to flooding on a complex section of the Bruce Highway at the Gairloch floodway, approximately 6km north of Ingham.

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Bruce Highway (Innisfail - Cairns), Innisfail Bypass, plan and preserve corridor

The department is progressing a $9 million planning project to plan and protect a suitable road corridor for a future bypass of Innisfail, if required.

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Bruce Highway (Innisfail – Cairns) and Munro street (Babinda) intersection upgrade

The department is progressing a project to upgrade the intersection of the Bruce Highway and Munro Street at Babinda.

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Bruce Highway (Mackay - Proserpine), Jumper Creek, upgrade flood immunity

Upgrades to improve flood immunity at Jumper Creek, between Mackay and Proserpine are now complete.

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Bruce Highway (Mackay – Proserpine), Knobels Road, upgrade intersection and approaches

Construction has started at the Knobels Road and Nebia Coningsby Road intersection to improve safety and enhance visibility.

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Bruce Highway (Proserpine - Bowen), Emu Creek to Drays Road, various locations, widen formation

Safety upgrades are being delivered to almost 20km of the Bruce Highway from Proserpine to Bowen, as part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

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Bruce Highway (Proserpine – Bowen) Ten Mile Creek to Yeates Creek, improve safety

Safety upgrades have been delivered on the Bruce Highway, between Proserpine and Bowen, to create a better transport network that connects regional towns to cities.

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Bruce Highway (Proserpine – Bowen), Bowen Connection Road, improve intersection

The Bruce Highway and Don Street intersection will be upgraded to provide a safer, smoother, more efficient road network. The project will also reconfigure the intersection to include a separate lane for vehicles turning right from the Bruce Highway to enter and accelerate to through traffic speed before merging.

Nielson Avenue to Plentiful Creek

Bruce Highway (Rockhampton – St Lawrence), Neilsen Avenue to Plentiful Creek, improve safety

Safety improvements have been delivered on the Bruce Highway between Terranova Drive and Etna Creek Road, North of Rockhampton.

Project location map of Bruce Highway (Townsville-Ingham) showing works at Leichhardt Creek to Lilypond Creek.

Bruce Highway (Townsville - Ingham), Leichhardt Creek to Lilypond Creek, construct overtaking lanes

Bruce Highway upgrades between Leichhardt Creek and Lilypond Creek (about 41km north of Townsville).

Project location map of Bruce Highway (Townsville-Ingham) rest area upgrade at Christmas Creek.

Bruce Highway (Townsville - Ingham), various locations, upgrade rest areas

Bruce Highway roadside rest area upgrades at Christmas Creek, Bluewater (about 40km north of Townsville).

Project location map of Leichhardt Creek to Abergowrie Road construction area to widen pavement.

Bruce Highway (Townsville-Ingham), Leichhardt Creek to Abergowrie Road, widen pavement and improve safety

Bruce Highway upgrades between Leichhardt Creek and Cassowary Creek (about 42km north of Townsville).

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Bruce Highway Planning Project—Pine River to Caloundra Road 

The department has delivered a planning project to investigate and prioritise upgrades to the Bruce Highway between the Pine River and Caloundra Road.

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Bruce Highway Upgrade—Deception Bay Road Interchange

The Deception Bay Road interchange upgrade project was delivered as part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade to improve safety, ease congestion and cater for future traffic growth.

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Bruce Highway Upgrade—Deception Bay Road to Caboolture-Bribie Island Road

A planning study has been undertaken to investigate future upgrade requirements on the Bruce Highway between Deception Bay Road and Caboolture-Bribie Island Road.

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Bruce Highway Upgrade—Maroochydore Road and Mons Road Interchanges

Major construction was completed for the Bruce Highway – Maroochydore Road and Mons Road Interchanges project in June 2023. 

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Bruce Highway Upgrade—Sunshine Motorway to Maroochydore Road

We have completed early planning to determine future upgrade needs for the Bruce Highway between the Sunshine Motorway and Maroochydore Road. The planning identifies a long-term solution to meet future traffic growth, reduce traffic congestion, and improve safety and flood immunity.

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Bruce Highway – Pine River to Caloundra Road Smart Motorways (Stage 2)

The Bruce Highway - Pine River to Caloundra Road Smart Motorways (Stage 2) project will deliver additional Smart Motorways technology along a 60km section of the Bruce Highway between the Pine River and Caloundra Road.

John Davies Bridge, Bruce Highway, between Edmonton to Gordonvale

Bruce Highway, Cairns Southern Access Corridor (Stage 3), Edmonton to Gordonvale

A total transport solution has been delivered to provide long-term improvements to traffic flow and road safety through reducing congestion, highway travel time and improving road access.

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Bruce Highway, Cairns Southern Access Corridor (Stage 5), Foster Road upgrade intersection

Planning for the Bruce Highway, Cairns Southern Access Corridor (Stage 5), Foster Road upgrade intersection project will assess and recommend options to upgrade this intersection.

Bruce Highway, Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade, construct bridges and approaches

The Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project included safety and flood resilience upgrades to 13.5km of the Bruce Highway at Giru (midway between Ayr and Townsville). The project scope included constructing 5 bridges and 2 cane rail overpasses, upgrading intersections and installing wide centreline treatments.

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Bruce Highway—Cooroy to Curra

This project involves a 62km realignment and upgrade of the Bruce Highway to 4 lanes between Cooroy and Curra and is among Queensland's highest priority road projects.

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Linkfield Road Overpass upgrade

The Linkfield Road Overpass upgrade project is currently in the design phase, following the conclusion of planning and community consultation activities in late 2021.

Mackay Northern Access

Mackay Northern Access Upgrade, construct additional lanes

A major upgrade of Bruce Highway and major intersections north of Mackay to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow in critical areas has been completed.

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Mackay Port Access, Bruce Highway to Mackay - Slade Point Road, construct new two-lane road

Mackay Port Access will provide a direct link for freight movements from the Mackay Port to the Mackay Ring Road, and west to the Bowen Basin coal fields via the Walkerston Bypass and Peak Downs Highway.

Pioneer River construction Mackay Ring Road

Mackay Ring Road

An improved link has been delivered from the south to the northern suburbs reducing traffic through Mackay.

Rockhampton - Yeppon Intersection artist impression which is 4 roads with a traffic light intersection

Rockhampton Ring Road

The Rockhampton Ring Road is a long-term, visionary project for the Bruce Highway. It will unlock future economic growth and deliver significant benefits including improved flood resilience, freight efficiencies and road safety, and reduced travel times.

Hervey Range Developmental Road interchange (looking north), photo shows two overpasses and traffic traveling across the overpasses and underneath

Townsville Ring Road (Stage 5)

The Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project, a landmark initiative that has brought about substantial improvements in road safety, traffic flow and travel time predictability for both freight and passenger vehicles along the Bruce Highway in Townsville, has been completed.