Townsville Ring Road (Stage 5)

The Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project will deliver improved road safety, efficiency and travel time reliability for freight and passenger vehicles on the Bruce Highway in Townsville. 

The project will duplicate the only remaining 2-lane section of the Townsville Ring Road between Vickers Bridge and Shaw Road. The 6km project will also include construction of an interchange at Beck Drive, with new on and off-ramps to provide access for all directions of travel.

In addition to improving road safety and traffic efficiency, the project will improve local connectivity to important employment centres and essential services in Townsville, including Lavarack Barracks, James Cook University and Townsville University Hospital. Construction works are underway on site, including earthworks and bridge construction works.

Update on temporary road closures

The temporary road closures below are in place as part of the project to ensure the safety of motorists and workers. Works are being carried out as quickly as possible to minimise impacts to the community and we thank you for your patience and understanding.

Changes at the Beck Drive interchange (for eastbound travel)

Friday 9 September 2022

The new Ring Road exit ramp to Beck Drive (in eastbound travel direction) will open to traffic, providing for travel to the Upper Ross. This is the first of 4 new Ring Road entry and exit ramps being constructed as part of the Beck Drive interchange.

Friday 16 September 2022

The Ring Road entry ramp from Beck Drive will open to traffic, providing eastbound travel from the Upper Ross. At the same time the new Ring Road entry ramp at Beck Drive opens to traffic.

The Ring Road entry ramp at Riverway Drive (for travel toward Douglas, the Townsville University Hospital and beyond) will temporarily close to traffic. This closure will allow for reconfiguration of the entry ramp, with the ramp due to reopen to traffic in late 2022.

Existing Riverway Drive exit ramp permanently closed

From Friday 16 September 2022, the existing Ring Road eastbound exit ramp to Riverway Drive will close permanently. Access from the Ring Road to the Upper Ross is available from the new Beck Drive interchange.

Changes to the Ring Road alignment

Friday 16 September 2022

Ring Road traffic in both directions will be travelling on a section of new alignment near Riverway Drive, including on the brand new overpass of Beck Drive.

The traffic switch onto this new section (between Riverway Drive and west of Beck Drive) will allow for rehabilitation of the existing Ring Road traffic lanes. During these works, the Ring Road will remain open to single lanes of traffic in each direction.

Hervey Range Developmental Road exit-ramp and Shaw Road entry-ramp

Closed 5 August 2022 to mid-November 2022

Westbound traffic heading towards Ingham will not be able to exit the Ring Road using Hervey Range Developmental Road exit-ramp during the advised period. A detour will be in place via the Dalrymple Road interchange.

A concurrent temporary road closure will also be in place at the Shaw Road eastbound entry ramp to the Ring Road. A detour will be in place via the Dalrymple Road interchange. Local access will be maintained to The Reserve Estate during the advised period under traffic control.

Benefits

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

Key features

  • Duplication of a 6km, 2-lane section of the Townsville Ring Road between Vickers Bridge and Shaw Road to 4 lanes.
  • Duplication of bridges over Bohle and Little Bohle rivers.
  • Duplication of overpass bridges at Beck Drive and Hervey Range Developmental Road.
  • A new interchange at Beck Drive, catering for all directions of travel and providing better connection between the Townsville Ring Road and the Upper Ross area.
  • Changes to the existing Riverway Drive interchange to ensure its safe operation with the new Beck Drive interchange, including removal of the eastbound off-ramp and westbound on-ramp.
  • Installation of drainage for flood mitigation.
  • Installation of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).
  • Noise mitigation measures.
  • Environmental considerations.
  • Upgrades to the surrounding local road network, including signalisation of the Beck Drive and Gouldian Avenue intersection.
  • Active transport facilities including new and upgraded shared pathways for pedestrians and bike riders. 
     

Funding

This project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 (federal:state) basis. Investment ID 1059916

Total investment
$230 million
Australian Government
$184 million
Queensland Government
$46 million

Current status

Construction works are continuing on the project. The project’s 4 major bridges and overpasses are taking shape, including over the Bohle and Little Bohle rivers. Works at Beck Drive are also underway to construct the new interchange, with the first 2 Ring Road entry and exit ramps opened to traffic in September 2022.

In recent months, the project team has:

  • completed the Ring Road exit ramp to Beck Drive and final works on the nearby Ring Road entry ramp (for eastbound travel)
  • completed the new overpass of Beck Drive and structural works for the 4 major bridges
  • commenced rehabilitation of the existing Ring Road alignment at the northern end of the project
  • placed the first new asphalt on Ring Road entry and exit ramps
  • commissioned traffic signals at one of 2 intersections at the new Beck Drive interchange
  • completed works at the northbound Ring Road access from Hervey Range Developmental Road and opened to traffic.

Between now and the expected completion of the project in mid-2023, the project team will:

  • reconfigure the Ring Road entry ramp at Riverway Drive for eastbound travel (toward Douglas and beyond), expected to reopen to traffic in late 2022
  • focus on completion of the westbound Ring Road entry and exit ramps at Beck Drive, expected to be opened to traffic in early 2023
  • rehabilitate the existing Ring Road traffic lanes (and overpass of Beck Drive), providing dual traffic lanes in each direction in future.

Project animation

Video Transcript

The Department of Transport and Main Roads is constructing the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project on the Bruce Highway through the suburbs of Condon and Bohle Plains.  

The project will duplicate a 6km, 2-lane section of the Townsville Ring Road to four lanes, extending from Vickers Bridge through to Shaw Road.

Works on the Riverway Drive interchange will include removal of the existing westbound entry ramp and eastbound exit ramp, which cater for vehicles heading to and from the north and towards Hervey Range Road. These vehicles will be catered for at the new Beck Drive interchange. 

At Beck Drive in Condon, a new interchange will be constructed with entry and exit ramps to provide access for all directions of travel between Beck Drive and the Townsville Ring Road.

The Beck Drive interchange will include new shared pathways for pedestrians and bicycle riders. 

A new bridge will be constructed over the Bohle River alongside the existing bridge.

A new bridge will also be constructed over the Little Bohle River alongside the existing bridge.

Heading north, the project will construct a new overpass of the Hervey Range Developmental Road. New shared pathways will also be constructed along Hervey Range Road for pedestrians and bicycle riders.

The highway duplication will continue from Hervey Range Developmental Road through to Shaw Road. Along this section, existing shared pathways will be upgraded to concrete, and existing pedestrian underpasses will be extended and linked to new wider footpaths.

At Shaw Road, the project will link into the existing 4-lane section of the Townsville Ring Road. 

In summary, the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project will include: 

  • duplication of the remaining 6km section of the 2-lane highway to 4 lanes
  • a new interchange to provide a connection to the Ring Road at Beck Drive
  • changes to the Riverway Drive interchange to improve its operation, including removal of on and off ramps for traffic travelling to and from the direction of Ingham
  • new dual carriageway bridges for the Bohle and Little Bohle Rivers
  • new shared pathways for pedestrians and bike riders.

The Townsville Ring Road (Stage 5) project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments on an 80:20 basis. 

For more information, search 'Townsville Ring Road Stage 5'.

Project layout plans

Overview 
Overall project layout plan
Section 1 Riverway Drive to Little Bohle River Bridge

Project plan section 1

Section 2 Little Bohle River Bridge to Shaw Road

Project plan section 2

Note: Not for construction. Plans are for consultation purposes only and are subject to change. Updated plans will be provided on this page as detailed design on the project continues. 

Additional information

Changes to the existing Riverway Drive interchange

One of the key features of the project involves changing the ramps of the existing Riverway Drive interchange to ensure its safe operation with the new Beck Drive interchange.

At Beck Drive, 2 new on-ramps and 2 new off-ramps will provide connections for all directions of travel and deliver improved access between the Upper Ross area and Townsville Ring Road. 

At Riverway Drive, the on-ramp for westbound traffic, and the off-ramp for eastbound traffic will be relocated to the new Beck Drive interchange. These ramps cater for vehicles heading to and from the north and towards Hervey Range Developmental Road, and currently carry the lowest volumes of traffic (averaging around 120 vehicles an hour during peak travel times). These low volumes of traffic will be suitably catered for via the new ramps at Beck Drive. 

The highest traffic volumes at the Ring Road/Riverway Drive interchange are on the eastbound on-ramp and westbound off-ramp, and these ramps will remain in place. These ramps cater for vehicles travelling between the Upper Ross and major employment centres such as the Townsville University Hospital, James Cook University and Lavarack Barracks.

Traffic volumes on these Riverway Drive on and off-ramps are continuing to increase and are predicted to result in increased congestion and safety risks in the future if alternative access to the Ring Road is not provided for Upper Ross motorists travelling to and from the university, hospital and other employment centres. 

The new Beck Drive interchange will cater for this growing traffic, effectively splitting traffic volumes across 2 locations (Riverway Drive and Beck Drive) and improving traffic efficiency, travel time reliability and safety for road users, particularly during peak hours. 

The ramps of both interchanges (at Riverway Drive and Beck Drive), and their entry and exit lanes, must be adequately spaced to avoid unsafe traffic weaving and reduce the risk of road crashes. 

Based on road design standards, removing the Riverway Drive westbound on-ramp and eastbound off-ramp was required to achieve the safest outcome for motorists. This was further supported by traffic modelling and analysis which showed that this traffic could be accommodated at the new Beck Drive interchange.

Sustainability Policy

The department appointed Georgiou AECOM consortium to deliver the design and construction of the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5  project. As a Principal Contractor, Georgiou Group with their sub consultant AECOM is also responsible for ensuring the project design achieves an Infrastructure Sustainability rating level of Excellent. 

About the Infrastructure Sustainability rating

The Infrastructure Sustainability rating scheme for infrastructure was developed and is administered by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council . The scheme is Australia’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across design, construction and operation of infrastructure. The scheme scopes whole-of-life sustainability risks for projects and assets, fostering resource efficiency, waste reduction, innovation and continuous improvement. As part of the Queensland Government's vision to build innovative and resilient infrastructure, infrastructure projects over $100 million must have a sustainability policy to achieve a rating. 

Townsville Ring Road (Stage 5) Sustainability Policy

The Townsville Ring Road (Stage 5) Sustainability Policy is based on the Queensland Government’s vision, sustainability commitments, and project specific sustainability objectives and targets. The project will achieve a rating by:

  • Embedding environmental and sustainability outcomes by establishing sustainability objectives and targets.
  • Working closely with customers, stakeholders and local communities to achieve resilient outcomes for all road users and society. 
  • Adopting decision making processes that are industry recognised to integrate economic, social, environmental and governance into design and construction practices.
  • Preparing for the challenges presented by climate change by undertaking climate change workshop(s) and addressing key findings.
  • Addressing environmental considerations in a manner sensitive to the needs of stakeholders and the environment to enhance environmental outcomes wherever practical.
  • Promoting safer workplaces through innovation and collaboration through effective planning and management of risks.
  • Enhancing workforce health and wellbeing, through inclusion, diversity and employee empowerment plans such as indigenous employment programmes.
  • Sourcing sustainably and ethically, prioritising local industry participation, social procurement initiatives and committing to avoiding modern slavery.
  • Encouraging innovation among project delivery teams to achieve sustainable and measurable outcomes. 
  • Reporting on sustainability performance and being accountable for meeting environmental and social responsibilities.
  • Supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by achieving an ISC Design and an As Built rating of Excellent.
  • Enhancing the local ecosystem by developing and implementing a Grassland Rehabilitation Plan. 
  • Committing to a reduction in the use of potable water where possible.
  • Minimising waste by using the implementation of the waste hierarchy of avoidance, reduction, reuse and recycling.
Townsville Ring Road Stage 4 project

As part of the Townsville Ring Road Stage 4  project, completed in late 2016, we engaged James Cook University to undertake a PhD research thesis on conservation of the endangered Black-throated Finch under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

View the ’Understanding uncertainty to inform conservation: Tools to protect the endangered black-throated finch southern subspecies’ thesis.