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. The State's annual Bruce Highway funding commitment will increase to $250 million per annum from 2027–28 onwards, on top of the additional $1.8 billion the Queensland Government has already provided. 

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, between Mackay and Proserpine, north of Townsville, and the Tiaro Bypass.

To ensure proper management and oversight, the Queensland Government established the Bruce Highway Trust Advisory Council. This council was 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 was supported by a Technical Working Group established within the department comprising technical and subject-matter experts.

Program highlights as at 31 March 2024

The Bruce Highway Upgrade Program is on track with the delivery of:

  • 120 new bridges
  • 66 new and upgraded rest areas
  • 489km roadside safety barriers
  • 72 township entry treatments
  • 247km wide centre line treatments
  • 100 new overtaking lanes
  • 204 protected right-hand turns
  • 73km of highway duplication
  • 8 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.

30 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.

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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.

Artist’s impression of the extended north-facing ramps at Dohles Rocks Road interchange on the Bruce Highway, looking north.

Bruce Highway (Brisbane-Gympie), Dohles Rocks Road to Anzac Avenue upgrade (Stage 1)

The department is delivering staged upgrades to manage increasing traffic demands on this section of the Bruce Highway. Stage 1 includes extended north-facing ramps from Dohles Rocks Road to Anzac Avenue.

Looking north towards an 8 span, 260 metre long concrete bridge structure over Deep Creek with construction crews on the bridge completing the final layer of pavement in preparation for linemarking. There is a bio-retention basin (like a sediment pond) in the foreground.

Bruce Highway (Cooroy to Curra) Section D

The $1.162 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 (Townsville to Ingham) safety improvements and rest area upgrade projects

Bruce Highway works, between Townsville and Ingham, are underway to improve safety and upgrade a rest area.

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.

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—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.

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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 department has been investigating options to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety and freight access for the Linkfield Road Overpass in Bald Hills.

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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.