Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade Project

Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade Project

The Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade Project (Bruce Highway Horseshoe Lagoon – Palm Creek) involves a program of safety and flood immunity upgrades on the Bruce Highway at Giru, including wider and higher-level bridges, reconfigured intersections and 13.5km of upgraded highway pavement across the Haughton River Floodplain.

The $513 million project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($414.4 million) and Queensland Government ($102.9 million). The project covers essential upgrades to the Bruce Highway, designed to improve safety and efficiency for road users, as well as significantly improving flood immunity. The project is being delivered by The Infrastructure Group (TIG), a joint venture between Bielby, BMD Constructions, JF Hull Holdings and Albem Operations, on behalf of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

  • $513m project funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments
  • 13.5km highway upgrade
  • 2 highway overpasses and extensive intersection upgrades
  • Replacement of 3 bridges and construction of 2 new bridges

The project covers a 13.5km section of the Bruce Highway at Giru, across the Haughton River Floodplain, located 50Km south of Townsville in North Queensland.

Acting as the transport backbone for North Queensland, the Bruce Highway plays an essential role in commercial, agricultural and tourism of the region and must withstand the state’s severe weather, which sees the highway close on average every 1 to two years for approximately 70 hours at a time. As a consequence, there is significant disruption to the daily lives of users and the businesses and communities that rely on this essential piece of infrastructure.

As part of the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project we will:

  • replace the Horseshoe Lagoon, Pink Lily and Haughton River bridges with new, wider, higher-level bridges
  • build new crossings of Healey’s Lagoon and the Reed Beds curve
  • upgrade 13.5km of the Bruce Highway (on approach to, and between the bridges), in some areas on a new alignment
  • construct 2 highway overpasses of open-level cane tramway crossings, removing interactions between highway and cane traffic
  • upgrade rural intersections within the project area to improve safety
  • install wide centre line treatments (similar to other, recent Bruce Highway projects) to increase the distance between oncoming lanes of traffic and reduce the risk of head-on collisions. 


This will see immediate and long-lasting benefits to the region, as the frequency and time frame of closures will reduce significantly from approximately 70 hours to between 1 and 2 hours every 1 to 2 years.

This project is extremely complex with a number of factors playing a challenging role in the design and delivery of the works. From operating in a flood plain through to ensuring minimal impact on local agriculture, we have worked hard with our joint venture partners to create a number of innovative solutions that will be used for the first time in North Queensland.

Currently in the final design phase and with preliminary earthworks underway, we look forward to completing this project in line with our values and approach to project delivery that will see essential upgrades completed and ensuring improved safety and flood resilient infrastructure for the 6,000 vehicles per day that rely on this section of the Bruce Highway.

The Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade is expected to be completed by mid 2021. You can keep up with progress and the latest information on the project by visiting our news section or following us on LinkedIn.