QLD’s $514m Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade complete

The upgraded Haughton River Bridge, part of the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade.
The new Haughton River Bridge. Image: Queensland Government.

Road safety and flood resilience has been improved for the Bruce Highway between Ayr and Townsville, following the completion of the major $514.34 million Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade.

The project, jointly funded by the Federal and Queensland governments, was delivered by The Infrastructure Group, a joint venture between Bielby Holdings, BMD Construction, JF Hull, and Albem Pty Ltd.

The group was awarded the design and construction contract in March 2018, with the commencement of major works following in early 2019.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was in North Queensland yesterday to open the project, which included the construction of five bridges, two cane rail overpasses, intersection upgrades and the installation of wide centre line treatments to reduce head-on crashes.

“Travelling between Ayr and Townsville you will notice the old, narrow Haughton River Bridge is entirely gone,” she said. “There are new bridges in previously flood-prone areas, and all of the intersections with the Bruce Highway in this area have been made safer.

“This has been an incredible project which motored on right through the global pandemic, supporting 544 jobs and helping our economic recovery.”

Catherine King, Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, said the Bruce Highway was essential in keeping communities safely connected along the state’s east coast.

“Projects like the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade ensure that not only is this critical route safer for all road users, but it will enhance regional connectivity for key industries and boost accessibility for rural residents,” she said.

“This project will reduce the frequency and duration of road closures due to flooding on the Bruce Highway at Horseshoe Lagoon, Haughton River, Pink Lily and the Reed Beds.”

Mark Bailey, Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, said that during the 2019 North and Far North Queensland Monsoon trough, the Bruce Highway was closed at the Haughton River for six days due to floodwater and debris inundation.

“That’s the longest recorded closure,” he said.

“Typically, floodwaters force the closure of the Bruce Highway at the Haughton River Bridge every one to two years. But now the project is complete, the severity and frequency of highway closures due to flood inundation will be greatly reduced.

“We thank motorists, landholders beside the highway, and the Giru community for their patience and understanding during the works.”

For more information, visit: www.tmr.qld.gov.au



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