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.

Update on traffic changes

The temporary traffic changes 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.

Current traffic changes in place
 Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 traffic changes
Southbound entry ramp at Riverway Drive

The reconstructed Ring Road entry ramp at Riverway Drive (for travel toward Douglas and the Townsville University Hospital) opened to traffic in December 2022. Construction on the ramp included widening the lanes and extending the curvature of the ramp to improve safety for motorists entering the Ring Road.

Northbound entry ramp at Riverway Drive

The northbound entry ramp at Riverway Drive (for travel towards northern suburbs) has closed permanently. Northbound motorists wishing to enter the Ring Road should use the Beck Drive or Hervey Range Developmental Road interchanges.

Learn more about the changes that are occurring at the Riverway Drive interchange.

Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 current traffic changes along riverway drive

Northbound entry ramp at Beck Drive 

The northbound Ring Road entry ramp at Beck Drive opened to traffic in December 2022. Motorists wishing to travel from Beck Drive to Townsville's northern suburbs can now enter the Ring Road from the Beck Drive interchange. 

The Beck Drive interchange opened to southbound traffic in September 2022, with new Ring Road exit and entry ramps providing for travel to and from the Upper Ross area.

Traffic signals and lighting are operational at Beck Drive.

Construction works are continuing at the northbound exit ramp to Beck Drive. The northbound exit ramp will open to traffic by early 2023.

Shaw Road entry-ramp

Temporarily closed 5 August 2022 to late January 2023

 The Shaw Road southbound entry ramp to the Ring Road is temporarily closed. A detour is in place via the Dalrymple Road interchange. Local access will be maintained to The Reserve Estate during the advised period under traffic control.

Changes at the Hervey Range Developmental Road – Temporarily closed from 8 December 2022 to late April 2023

The southbound entry and exit ramps at Hervey Range Developmental Road are closing temporarily from 8 December 2022 to late April 2023. Detours are available via Riverway Drive and the Beck Drive interchange. 

Changes to the Ring Road alignment

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

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

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 southbound off-ramp and northbound 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
$280 million
Australian Government
$224 million
Queensland Government
$56 million

Current status

Construction works are continuing on the project. Structural works have been completed on the project’s 4 major bridges and overpasses, including over the Bohle and Little Bohle rivers. Works at Beck Drive are also underway to construct the new interchange, with three Ring Road ramps operational.

Bohle River Bridge

The Bohle River Bridge is now open to traffic heading northbound on the Ring Road. Four lanes of traffic over the Bohle River are now open.

Bohle River Bridge - December 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 southbound 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 the new Beck Drive interchange
  • completed works at the northbound Ring Road access from Hervey Range Developmental Road and opened to traffic
  • reconfigured the Ring Road entry ramp at Riverway Drive for southbound travel (toward Douglas and beyond)
  • completed the northbound Ring Road entry ramp from Beck Drive
  • opened the Bohle River Bridge to northbound traffic.

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

  • focus on completion of the northbound Ring Road exit ramp at Beck Drive, expected to be opened to traffic in early 2023
  • rehabilitate the existing Ring Road traffic lanes providing dual traffic lanes in each direction.

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

Construction works underway on the existing southbound entry ramp from Riverway Drive to the Ring Road – these reconfiguration works will improve safety and travel conditions for motorists.

One of the key features of the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project involves changing the ramps of the existing Riverway Drive interchange to ensure its safe operation with the new Beck Drive interchange and the newly duplicated Ring Road carriageway. If all ramps were to remain in place, dangerous traffic conditions including ‘weaving’ by motorists would occur, significantly increasing the risk of traffic crashes.

At Riverway Drive, the southbound entry ramp (currently under reconfiguration works) and northbound exit ramp will remain in place. These ramps carry the highest volumes of traffic and cater for vehicles travelling between the Upper Ross and major employment centres such as the Townsville University Hospital, James Cook University and Lavarack Barracks.

The ramps being removed - the northbound entry ramp and southbound exit ramp at Riverway Drive - cater for vehicles heading to and from the north and towards Hervey Range Developmental Road. These ramps currently carry the lowest volumes of traffic. This traffic will be catered for at the new Beck Drive interchange.

At Beck Drive, two new entry ramps and two new exit ramps will provide connections for all directions of travel and deliver improved access between the Upper Ross and the Townsville Ring Road.

The new Beck Drive interchange is a key component of the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project, providing a second access point to the Ring Road and ensuring the road network caters to future traffic and population growth in the Upper Ross area. Traffic modelling undertaken by TMR has shown that the surrounding road network can suitably cater to changes in traffic volumes and patterns following completion of the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project.

Cultural Heritage

The Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project team has continuously engaged with the traditional custodians of the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project site, the Gurambilbarra Wulgurukaba peoples, throughout the design and construction phases to identify opportunities for design participation and celebration of cultural heritage knowledge.

The Gurambilbarra Wulgurukaba traditional owner group has contributed to the project through:

  • providing the design for the official project artwork as displayed on the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 Project Charter and on personal protective equipment (PPE) workwear proudly worn by staff on site
  • participating in mosaic burning on the project site for environment health and prior to the planting of native grasses
  • monitoring of clearing activities for sites and artefacts of cultural significance
  • assisting in the delivery of cultural awareness training to project staff
  • contributing cultural heritage material for site inductions.

The Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project area overlaps or adjoins previous Townsville Ring Road upgrades, including Sections 2 & 3 (completed 2009) and Section 4 (completed 2016). Archaeological and cultural heritage studies along with stakeholder engagement from these previous projects were used to inform the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 Cultural Heritage Risk Assessment process.

No statutory Historical Heritage Listings are known in the vicinity of the project site. Assessment of the federal, state and local heritage registers was undertaken. There were three Indigenous Cultural Heritage sites recorded within the project area and its immediate surrounds, all of which were significantly old mature Eucalypts with no physical heritage features, but which held intangible value to the traditional owner group due to both the trees' ages and links to Country pre-European impacts on the area. One of the trees was in an impact area within the project boundary and was removed with monitors from the Gurambilbarra Wulgurukaba People present to ensure appropriate care and controls were upheld and that no additional cultural materials were exposed or harmed. The remaining two trees were identified and marked for preservation by the project.

The presence of two larger watercourses through the project area suggested the potential for sites to be discovered during the works. To mitigate any potential issues, Cultural Heritage monitors were engaged on the project through the initial ground disturbance and clearing stages of the project. These stages included removal of vegetation and the early excavation process as requested in the Cultural Heritage Management Agreement negotiated between the department and the Gurambilbarra Wulgurukaba People. Additional involvement by cultural heritage monitors was provided through the latter stages of the project as required.

The presence of a World War II airfield and remains of several historically recorded structures were also identified in the area surrounding the Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 project. The heritage values of these sites and artefacts were not impacted by the project works.

If you would like to provide feedback about the Cultural and Heritage assessment you can do this through the online feedback form.

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.