The Mackay Ring Road is planned to be built between Stockroute Road, Bald Hill Road and the Bruce Highway intersection in Queensland, Australia. The project is being undertaken by the governments of Queensland and Australia in three phases.

The ring road is essential to ensure safety of local residents and motorists who travel along the Bruce Highway. It will reduce travel times and improve traffic flow by minimising congestion.

Construction work on the $565m project is scheduled to commence in mid-2017, and expected to be completed by early-2020.

The project is expected to generate employment for 600 people over the course of its construction.

Mackay Ring Road project details

The population of the Mackay region is forecast to increase by more than 50,000 by 2031. As a result, traffic on the Mackay Ring Road will exceed the current capacity. Further, the existing bridges will not be able to handle the increase in traffic during peak periods.

Imports at Mackay port are expected to double by 2031 leading to an increase in movement of freight vehicles from the Port to the Bruce Highway.

The ring road project is expected to address the anticipated capacity constraints and minimise frequent movement of hazardous loads of vehicles through the city. It will also help to reduce the number of accidents along the highway.

Mackay ring road project phase one details

The phase one of Mackay ring road will include the construction of 11.3km dual-lane highway stretching from Stockroute Road to Bald Hill Road.

The phase will include construction of 13 new bridges and a new bridge over the Pioneer River. It will also include construction of underpasses at Stotts Road and Gibsons Road for local road traffic and farming operations.

Other works under phase one include the construction of a modified on-ramp from Peak Down Highway to the ring road and an overtaking lane from Lagoon Creek towards the south of the Peak Downs Highway. Vehicle inspection bays at Te Kowai Foulden Road will be relocated and bridges at Sugarshed road and Pioneer river will be reduced. Southern entry and exit points at Paget industrial area will also be created.

Being a double lane rural highway, the travelling time will significantly reduce by removing ten traffic signals. Public safety will also improve by eliminating fuel and sugar trucks travelling through the Nebo Road in Mackay.

Mackay ring road phase two details

The 8.2km phase two will stretch from the northern intersection of Bruce Highway to the Harbour Road intersection. It will be linked to Glenella-Richmond road, Valley Street and Harbour Road. The speed limit on the phase two section of the ring road will be 80km/h.

Phase two of the project will connect the northern suburbs to Paget industrial area and mining areas on the west. It will also eliminate all traffic signal intersections from the Port to Peak Downs Highway.

Phase three details of the Australian road project

Phase three of the ring road will involve the construction of a 1.4km double-lane highway from the port to Slade Point Road. It will connect the Port, Racecourse mill, mines and mining service industries.

Phase three construction will be undertaken depending upon its need after 2031.

Contractors involved

AECOM was contracted by the Department of Transport and Main Roads for providing designing services for the first phase of the ring road.

Financing for the ring road project

The Australian and Queensland Governments are providing $448m and $117m respectively for phase one of the Mackay Ring Road projects.