Works on the $230 million Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 (TRR5) are now underway, with the first sod being turned on the project in Townsville today.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the project demonstrated the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s ongoing commitment to regional Queensland.
“The TRR5 project will duplicate the remaining six-kilometre, two-lane section of the Townsville Ring Road and deliver significant improvements in safety and freight efficiency through the city,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Under the 15-year, $13 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, we are continuing to invest in safety, flood resilience and capacity upgrades along the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns.
“We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Queensland Government to deliver the long-term infrastructure needed to ensure continued economic growth in the Townsville and surrounding region.
“Through our 10-year, $110 billion nationwide infrastructure investment plan, we are building our future and securing Australia’s world-leading economic recovery.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the upgrade will ensure the Bruce Highway has the capacity to accommodate the growing Townsville region for many years to come.
“The TRR5 project is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery and jobs in North Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
“TRR5 will provide a huge boost to the Townsville region’s economy over the next few years.
“This investment is estimated to support nearly 400 direct jobs at a time when North Queensland needs them most.
“It’s part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $27.5 billion, four-year roads and transport investment plan to support 24,000 jobs, which is helping drive Queensland’s economic recovery from Covid-19.”
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said the project would be a boost for safety and efficiency on one of Townsville’s most important routes.
“This upgrade is going to make daily commutes shorter, boost our economy by getting freight to and through our city more quickly, and create much-needed local jobs during construction,” Mr Thompson said.
“More important than all of that though is safety – four lanes are much safer than two – and anyone who leaves in the morning should be able to return home safely to their family at night.”
State Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the entire Townsville Ring Road would be a dual-lane carriageway by 2023, improving efficiency, travel time and safety while creating vital jobs and opportunities for contractors and suppliers across Townsville.
“While a range of specialised goods and services will be required to deliver the TRR5 project, TMR and principal contractor Georgiou are committed to using the people, goods and services available in the region,” Mr Harper said.
“More than 17,000 vehicles use this section of the Townsville Ring Road each day, 12 per cent of which are freight vehicles.”
The upgrade will also reduce peak-hour congestion on the surrounding network and improve connectivity to important employment nodes such as Lavarack Barracks, James Cook University and Townsville University Hospital.
The TRR5 is being designed by AECOM and built by Georgiou Group, with completion expected in 2023, weather permitting.
The Australian Government has committed $184 million towards the TRR5 project which is jointly funded by the Queensland Government, contributing $46 million.