Townsville Ring Road (Stage 5)

The Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 (TRR5) project will deliver improved road safety, efficiency and travel time reliability for freight and passenger vehicles on the Bruce Highway in Townsville. 

The TRR5 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 TRR5 project will improve local connectivity to important employment centres and essential services in Townsville, including Lavarack Barracks, James Cook University and Townsville University Hospital.

In August 2020, TMR awarded a contract to the Georgiou AECOM consortium to design and construct the TRR5 project. 

Detailed design is continuing and construction works are now underway on site, including earthworks. 

The TRR5 project team will hold community information sessions and pop-up displays throughout 2021 to provide project information and detailed plans. Subscribe for project updates to receive the latest TRR5 information and notifications about upcoming information sessions and displays. 

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 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

The 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

Pre-construction works including vegetation clearing and other site preparations started in June 2021 Major works including earthworks are now underway across the project site.

Detailed design is also progressing and will continue in 2021. 

Delivering the project under a design and construct model allows some overlap between the design and construction phases. This means construction works can begin in some locations while detailed design for the overall project continues. 

As design progresses, more detailed information about the project will become available, including the location and design of pedestrian infrastructure, noise mitigation, lighting, drainage, fencing, and environmental impact mitigation measures.

The TRR5 project team will hold community information sessions and pop-up displays throughout 2021 to provide residents and stakeholders with project information and plans.

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 TRR5 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 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 TMR’s traffic modelling and analysis which showed that this traffic could be accommodated at the new Beck Drive interchange.

Sustainability Policy

TMR appointed Georgiou AECOM consortium to deliver the design and construction of the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 (TRR5) project. As a Principal Contractor, Georgiou Group with their sub consultant AECOM is also responsible for ensuring the TRR5 project design achieves an Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating level of Excellent. 

About the Infrastructure Sustainability rating

The IS rating scheme for infrastructure was developed and is administered by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). 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 an IS Rating. 

TRR5 Sustainability Policy

The TRR5 Sustainability Policy is based on the Queensland Government’s vision, TMR's sustainability commitments, and project specific sustainability objectives and targets. The TRR5 project will achieve an IS 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 ISCA 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 (TRR4) project, completed in late 2016, TMR engaged James Cook University (JCU) 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 to understand more.

If you require further information about this research thesis, please contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads via details provided above.