The newly upgraded section of Bruce Highway.

The $117.4 million Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade (TNAIU), on the Bruce Highway, has reached a major milestone with the completion of the final traffic switch. 

The project’s construction has supported 185 local jobs – part of a broader $994 million road and transport investment in the Townsville region over four years, which is estimated to support 860 direct jobs.  

When the project is complete, the entire length of the 5.2km duplication will be on separated roadway, with either a physical barrier or enough separation between the northbound and southbound traffic lanes to significantly reduce the risk of crashes, particularly head-ons.  

The project also involved duplicating the Black River Bridge, which opened to traffic in December of 2022.

The upgrade is jointly funded by the Federal and Queensland Governments on an 80:20 basis as part of the 15-year Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

From 4 September motorists have been able to use the rehabilitated northbound carriageway of the Bruce Highway at Black River.

Northbound traffic had been using the southbound lanes while works were underway.

The final traffic switch means motorists are now using the entire 5.2km of the newly-built and rehabilitated highway between Veales Road and Pope Road, which is expected to be completed in late 202.

Single lane travel in each direction will remain while final works continue, including guardrail and sign installation and line-marking.

Works are also continuing at Black River Road, Mount Kulburn Drive and Bowden Road.

With the latest traffic changes, motorists will only be able to enter or exit the Bruce Highway at Black River Road via the new left-in, left-out arrangement.

A U-turn facility will also enable motorists to safely change direction on the highway by moving out of highway traffic and into a 235m dedicated turning lane.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that this project demonstrates the Federal Government’s commitment to upgrading the highway under the jointly funded Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

“This investment is dedicated to improving the overall safety, flood resilience and capacity of the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns,” Ms King said. 

“Improving safety was a key objective for the Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade, and this has been delivered through constructing two-lane, separated carriageways on the Bruce Highway, service roads and upgraded intersections.

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said that the State Government will always back North Queensland in getting its fair share.

“As Townsville and the surrounding regions grow, prompted by the major investments in renewables and critical minerals, upgrades like these are so important in keeping drivers safe,” Mr Bailey said. 

“I look forward to the project wrapping up later this year – getting locals and tourist home safer and sooner.”

Senator for Queensland, Nita Green, said that this project is part of a long-term partnership to upgrade the Bruce Highway, improving safety, flood resilience and capacity along the highway between Brisbane and Cairns.

“Vital infrastructure projects like this are helping support rural and regional Australia by connecting communities, strengthening freight networks and improving road safety,” Ms Green said. 

Featured image: The newly opened section of Bruce Highway. Image credit: The Queensland Government.

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