Bruce Highway Upgrade

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Bruce Highway Upgrade

Queensland coastal cities connectivity
Potential investment options (Stage 2)
Brisbane to Cairns, Qld
Smaller cities and regional centres
National Connectivity
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near to medium term (0–10 years)
Proposed By
Queensland Government
Date added to the IPL
17 February 2016


The Bruce Highway is Queensland’s major north–south corridor, connecting coastal population centres from Brisbane to Cairns. The highway is part of Queensland’s Priority Freight Network and forms part of the National Land Transport Network.

With Queensland’s freight task expected to double between 2010–11 and 2025–26, the highway will have to accommodate a significant increase in freight volumes. The highway’s roles in connecting regional centres and facilitating significant freight movement were identified as key regional priorities for Queensland in the 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit.

The problems identified along the Bruce Highway include: safety concerns, poor flooding immunity, poor connectivity to regional centres and capacity constraints around key economic clusters.

The problems identified along the highway are largely driven by increased traffic volumes associated with population and economic growth, resulting in congestion around key economic hubs. This diminishes Queensland’s freight productivity.

Potential options

The proposal proposes progressive priority upgrades to the Bruce Highway to address specific capacity constraints, flood resilience and safety concerns. Major planned works include:

  • Burdekin deviation
  • Ingham to Cardwell Range deviation.

Business cases for Cooroy to Curra (Section D), Edmonton to Gordonvale duplication, Maroochydore Road Interchange and the Caboolture to Steve Irwin section have been assessed by Infrastructure Australia and were separately listed as Priority Projects on the Infrastructure Priority List. These projects are now under delivery and are included in Appendix A.

Infrastructure Australia also previously completed evaluations of the business cases for Rockhampton Ring Road and Townsville Ring Road Stage 5. These projects have received funding commitments from the Australian Government.

Next steps

Proponent to develop potential investment options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework), and complete business case development (Stage 3 of the Framework).

Individual upgrade projects are at various stages of development.