Rockhampton Ring Road plan, preserve and construct

The Rockhampton Ring Road plan, preserve and construct project (Rockhampton Ring Road project) will improve road safety and strengthen the region’s economy by improving freight efficiency, flood resilience and job opportunities. The alignment will support connectivity between key employment, leisure, tourism and residential growth areas of Rockhampton and the wider region.

A new 14.7km ring road will be delivered with a total of 17.4km of new road being constructed.

The ring road will link the Bruce Highway through Rockhampton extending from the Capricorn Highway (Nelson Street), to the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road/Bruce Highway intersection and will include a new crossing of the Fitzroy River at Pink Lily. 

The Bruce Highway is Queensland's major north-south freight and commuter corridor, connecting coastal population centres from Brisbane to Cairns over 1,677km. 

The existing Bruce Highway through Rockhampton is one of the remaining pinch points between Brisbane and Cairns, with 19 sets of traffic signals to navigate.

Traffic volumes on the Bruce Highway in Central Queensland ranges from 2,600 vehicles per day in rural sections to 35,000 vehicles per day in urban centres.

It is also a key heavy vehicle route with an average of about 2,640 heavy vehicles travelling through Rockhampton daily.

The department is committed to working with the Rockhampton community and hearing their views on the Rockhampton Ring Road.

 

Benefits

  • Improves safety
  • Increases capacity
  • Improves network efficiency
  • Increases traffic flow
  • Reduces peak hour congestion
  • Better road access
  • Reduces travel time
  • Contributes to regional growth
  • Improves ride quality
  • Improves flood immunity
  • Contributes to economy

Key features

  • New crossing of the Fitzroy River between Pink Lily and Kawana.
  • Reduced congestion and improved safety through the city by providing an alternative route for heavy vehicles.
  • Improved connectivity to key facilities, services and precincts within the Rockhampton region.
  • Continued access to the road network during major flooding.

Funding

The Rockhampton Ring Road plan, preserve and construct project is funded through the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program. Investment ID 1167108

Total investment
$1.065 billion
Australian Government
$852 million
Queensland Government
$213 million

Current status

Planning for the Rockhampton Ring Road is complete and the business case for the $1.065 billion road construction project is now being assessed by Infrastructure Australia.

The detailed design phase has started with Jacobs SMEC Design Joint Venture who have been appointed to deliver the detailed design.

A series of public information sessions were held from May until June 2021 where the design for the project was available. Community members had the opportunity to share their views at these sessions.

The detailed design phase will review the concept design and consider feedback received from the community, industry, and stakeholders.

Timeline

Visual timeline of the Rockhampton Ring Road project

Detailed design

The detailed design phase will refine the concept design in consideration of traffic efficiency, improved safety, increased resilience to flooding, improved connectivity and accessibility, and environment and cultural heritage.

A key task in this phase is to review and refine the options for the 4 new connections into Rockhampton city. These connections are proposed at the Capricorn Highway, West Rockhampton, Alexandra Street and Bruce Highway/Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road.

Intersection options identified in the planning phase are now being optimised to ensure the Rockhampton Ring Road supports traffic efficiency and local road connectivity, while also considering broader community impacts like noise and visual amenity.

The design

The Rockhampton Ring Road extends from the Capricorn Highway in the south to Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road in the north and contains both rural and urban sections of road. The design proposes a combination of a 2 and 4-lane highway determined by future traffic requirements.  

The Rockhampton Ring Road will improve connectivity to Rockhampton by increasing the number of access points to the city. The design for the Rockhampton Ring Road has been developed to provide a high-level of flood immunity, similar to a 1 in 100-year flood event and equivalent to 9.86m on the Rockhampton flood gauge in the Fitzroy River (a 1% Annual Exceedance Probability).

The design includes a number of features such as bridges and culverts at key locations along the Rockhampton Ring Road to manage water flow. The concept design includes more than 6km of bridging to maintain existing flow-paths, where possible, and minimise the impacts of changes in anticipated flood levels as far as practicable.  

Environment

Protecting the environment and its history is an important part of the project. To ensure the Rockhampton Ring Road is designed and delivered in an environmentally sensitive manner, the department is ensuring that comprehensive environmental investigations are being undertaken, as well as consulting with a range of stakeholders.

Since planning started in 2017, extensive surveys have been conducted along the corridor including wildlife, flora, ecological and water quality monitoring.

Environmental approvals are being progressed with the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment which is currently assessing the project under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Rockhampton Ring Road preliminary documentation

The draft preliminary documentation was open for public notification from 10 March to 23 March 2022. During the public notification period the department did not receive any submissions regarding the draft preliminary documentation.

EPBC draft preliminary documentation

Cultural heritage

The department recognises the significance of different cultures and the importance of managing Indigenous, historical, shared and natural heritage. Engagement with the Darumbal People is a priority to ensure cultural considerations are appropriately addressed. All reasonable practical measures to avoid harming Aboriginal heritage and the conservation of places and areas entered in the Queensland Heritage Register will be taken.

Property

The land needed to build the Rockhampton Ring Road was identified and gazetted in February 2019, with impacted property owners notified.

A portion of the properties required to build the Ring Road have been acquired. Consultation is continuing with the remaining impacted property owners as the project progresses.

Find out more about land resumptions and early acquisition of properties

Rockhampton Ring Road - overview map

Project map 

Rockhampton Ring Road - design map

Design map
View Rockhampton Ring Road - design map

Rockhampton Ring Road - visualisation

Video description

This is a visual animation of the Rockhampton Ring Road.

The Rockhampton Ring Road is a major Central Queensland infrastructure project, providing a western link of the Bruce Highway at Rockhampton.

Rockhampton Ring Road will:

  • connect commuters to priority precincts
  • offer better connections for productivity and growth 
  • provide an alternative heavy vehicle route
  • improve daily commute times 
  • improve road safety and flood resilience  

The $1 billion major infrastructure project will significantly reduce congestion within Rockhampton’s CBD. 

It will improve connectivity to important precincts and services within the region.

Rockhampton Ring Road will connect at the Capricorn Highway near Gracemere in the south, improving connectivity to industrial and residential growth areas, and resource and agriculture sectors to the west. It will also improve access to destinations like Emerald, Gladstone and Brisbane.

From the connection at west Rockhampton, road users will be able to easily access the Rockhampton airport, the defence depot, the base hospital, emergency services, the CBD, education institutions and sporting and leisure facilities.

The ring road will also include a new, third Fitzroy River crossing from Pink Lily the south, to Parkhurst in North Rockhampton.

A connection near Alexandra Street in north Rockhampton will provide key links into Parkhurst industrial and residential growth areas, retail precincts and the North Rockhampton CBD.

At Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road, road users will be able to easily access and connect with CQUniversity, emergency services, the Capricorn Coast and other tourism destinations and routes to Yeppoon and Mackay.

The Rockhampton Ring Road is connecting your region and Driving Central Queensland’s future.

To stay informed about the project, register your details at tmr.qld.gov.au/rockhamptonringroad

Rockhampton Ring Road - benefits

Video Transcript

The Rockhampton Ring Road is a major infrastructure project within the Central Queensland region, providing a western link of the Bruce Highway at Rockhampton.

As Queensland’s major freight and commuter corridor, the Bruce Highway currently sees:

  • 2600 vehicles per day in rural areas,
  • 30,029 vehicles per day in urban centres and 
  • 2640 heavy vehicles through Rockhampton daily.

Rockhampton Ring Road will:

  • connect commuters to priority service precincts
  • offer better logistical connections for productivity and growth
  • provide an alternative heavy vehicle route
  • improve daily commute times, road safety and flood resilience
  • and generate job opportunities.  

The $1 billion major infrastructure project will significantly reduce congestion within Rockhampton’s CBD. 

It will improve connectivity to important precincts and services within the region.

Rockhampton Ring Road will connect Rockhampton in the south, at Capricorn Highway near Gracemere. It will provide road users with links into the industrial and residential growth areas, and resource and agriculture sectors to the west. Also connecting and improving access to destinations like Emerald in the west, and Gladstone and Brisbane in the south.

From the connection at west Rockhampton, road users will be able to easily access the Rockhampton airport,  the defence depot , the base hospital, emergency services, the CBD, education institutions and sporting and leisure facilities.

The ring road will also include a new, third Fitzroy River crossing from Pink Lily area in the south, to Parkhurst in North Rockhampton.

A connection near Alexandra Street in north Rockhampton  will provide key links into Parkhurst industrial and residential growth areas, retail precincts and the North Rockhampton CBD.

At Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road, road users will be able to easily access and connect with CQUniversity, emergency services, the Capricorn Coast and other tourism destinations and routes to Yeppoon and Mackay.

The Rockhampton Ring Road is connecting your region and Driving Central Queensland’s future.

To stay informed about the project, register your details at tmr.qld.gov.au/rockhamptonringroad