Problem to be addressed
The Bruce Highway is part of the National Land Transport Network and is the primary north-south route for regional and local traffic on the east coast of Queensland between Brisbane and Cairns.
The 11 km section of the Bruce Highway between the Caboolture‑Bribie Island Road interchange and the Steve Irwin Way interchange serves commuter and freight traffic on weekdays and significant tourist traffic on weekends.
This section of the highway is heavily congested at peak times, particularly on weekends, resulting in longer than usual and less reliable journeys for users. It is also severely affected by flooding events and is the highest crash rate section of the highway between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
These issues are expected to worsen as the population living in the surrounding regions increases and traffic volumes grow.
The proposed project aims to improve the efficiency and safety of this section of the Bruce Highway by expanding from two lanes to three lanes in each direction and providing emergency stopping bays and safety barriers.
It also includes new bridge structures and creek crossing upgrades to improve flood immunity, as well as improvements to interchange entry and exit ramps to modern design standards.
The project will enable the implementation of Smart Motorways technology infrastructure, which is being delivered through a separate Smart Motorways project between Pine River (to the south) and Caloundra Road interchange (to the north).
The project has strong strategic merit, supporting a range of national, state and local plans and priorities. It would relieve congestion and improve safety and freight efficiency.
Economic, social and environmental value
The major benefits for the project will be travel-time savings for road users. A significant share of these benefits are for people travelling during weekends, reflecting the large volume of tourism and leisure travel on this section of the highway.
The proponent’s stated benefit-cost ratio is 1.9, with a net present value of $422 million (7% real discount rate).
Capital cost of initiative as stated by proponent (2018 business case) $614.9 million (P90, nominal, undiscounted) | Australian Government contribution $530 million | State government contribution $132.5 million | Private sector contribution N/A