Bruce Highway Upgrade

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Queensland coastal cities connectivity
Priority Initiative
Infrastructure Category
Proposed By
Queensland Government
Near term (0-5 years)
Brisbane to Cairns, Qld
Bruce Highway Upgrade


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.

Infrastructure Australia has evaluated a number of business cases on the Bruce Highway as Priority Projects on the Infrastructure Priority List between 2016 and 2019.

These Priority Projects include:

  • Bruce Highway Upgrade - Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway (2016)
  • Bruce Highway Upgrade - Mackay Ring Road Stage 3 (2017)
  • Bruce Highway Upgrade - Cooroy to Curra Section C (2017
  • Bruce Highway Upgrade - Edmonton to Gordonvale Stage 3 (2019)

One business case, the Haughton River Floodplain upgrade project (Bruce Highway) was not added to the Infrastructure Priority List in 2017.