The contract to build the $230 million Townsville Ring Road has been awarded and early works have begun on the $107.7 million Bruce Highway – two major Queensland regional rail projects that are expected to create more than 560 jobs in Townsville.
The Australian and Queensland Governments announced the contract to build the $230 million Townsville Ring Road – Stage 5 project and mark the start of early works on the $107.7 million Bruce Highway – Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade project – part of a $1.5 billion joint-commitment to roads in North Queensland, supporting 1,400 jobs.
The Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 design and build contract has been awarded to the Georgiou AECOM consortium.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said major construction for both projects was on track to begin in 2021.
“The Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade project will duplicate 5.2km of the Bruce Highway, including a new bridge over Black River, while the Stage 5 project will complete the four-laning of the 22km Townsville Ring Road,” Mr McCormack said.
“These projects are part of our $100 billion, ten-year infrastructure pipeline which will support our economy by creating jobs in North Queensland as we recover from COVID-19.”
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said regional road upgrades like the $1.5 billion being rolled out across North Queensland formed the cornerstone of the Queensland Government’s $50 billion plan to invest in large infrastructure projects that will support and sustain Queensland jobs now and for years to come.
“COVID-19 has impacted economies around the world but because Queenslanders have rallied to fight this global pandemic, we’re able to get on with the job of delivering Queensland’s economic plan,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said creating a multi-billion-dollar pipeline of road projects in Townsville would create jobs, drive safety and accommodate the region’s burgeoning freight and business community.
“We’re building the $514.3 million Bruce Highway upgrade through Haughton River, creating over 540 jobs, the biggest ever overhaul of Northern Australia’s largest port creating 125 jobs, and now we’re securing more jobs and improved safety with the next tranche of road upgrades in North Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, said Townsville was a major regional centre in Queensland that not only supports the export of Australian goods but will one day soon once again attract tourists wanting to explore this beautiful part of the world.
“Once complete, this project will improve access and connections to key services to support not only local communities, but also the freight and tourist traffic that rely on Queensland’s major north-south corridor,” Mr Christensen said.
“Ensuring we have accessible infrastructure in place that supports current and future demand will benefit our export and tourism industries, supporting the economy and regional jobs”.
Federal Member for Herbert, Phillip Thompson, said the Townsville Ring Road project would deliver significant improvements in safety and freight efficiency through the city and included a new interchange connection at Beck Drive.
“Many residents have contacted me about these projects, not only because of the convenience they will bring and the many jobs they will create, but more importantly because they will make the commute to and from work and school much safer,” Mr Thompson said.
“It’s critical that anyone who leaves in the morning comes home to their family safe at night. Tragically, recent accidents have highlighted the need for these upgrades.”
State Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, said more than 90 per cent of transport and main roads works were carried out by Queensland companies and the overall North Queensland roads and transport program supported 21,500 Queensland jobs, including vital jobs in Townsville.
“Despite COVID-19, our region is riding the wave of a roads bonanza with more than $1.5 billion in projects injecting money into the bank accounts of local businesses,” Mr Harper said.
“The 395 jobs from the ring road project could not come at a better time for Townsville as it continues to respond to the economic impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“These projects are being built by the north for the north and will bust congestion, make our roads safer and get people and freight where they need to go.
“This is something I’ve been long calling for and it’s great to see that the $230 million project will duplicate the last remaining two-lane section of the Townsville Ring Road.”
State Member for Townsville, Scott Stewart, said upgrading roads throughout Townsville and North Queensland was important for road users.
“The way forward for Queensland is through job creation and projects like Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 and the upgrades at Black River will create jobs for people in the city,” Mr Stewart said.
“The health response means the Palaszczuk Government can focus on our economic recovery and getting on with the job.
“Increasing accessibility and safety while creating vital jobs is very important for Townsville.
“The Haughton River Floodplain project is already doing just that and these two projects will complement the huge investment in roads around Townsville.”
Construction on the ring road is expected to start by mid-2021 and be complete in early 2023, weather and construction conditions permitting.
The project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $184 million and the Queensland Government committing $46 million.