The Sunshine Coast's biggest ever infrastructure project complete

28 September, 2021

Work to improve safety and efficiency along the Bruce Highway on the Sunshine Coast, the region’s largest ever infrastructure project, is now complete.

The $932 million project has seen the Bruce Highway upgraded to six lanes between Caloundra Road and the Sunshine Motorway including major upgrades to both interchanges and a new 2-way service road for local traffic between Steve Irwin Way and Tanawha Tourist Drive.

L-R Rob Skelton MP - Nicklin, Annastacia Palaczuzck Premier, Andrew Wallace MP Fisher, Mark Bailey MP - Minister for Roads

L-R Rob Skelton MP - Nicklin, Annastacia Palaczuzck Premier, Andrew Wallace MP Fisher, Mark Bailey MP - Minister for Roads

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the upgrade would serve the Sunshine Coast for many years to come.

“As one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, this project has come at a crucial time,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“From the turning of the first sod back in May 2017, this project has blazed a trail for the renewal of regional road infrastructure.

“The Australian Government’s $745.6 million investment to deliver a better, safer and more efficient major roadway for Sunshine Coast residents will support the growth of this region well into the future.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the project created 680 jobs and expanded this stretch of the Bruce Highway from four-lanes to six.

“Infrastructure projects like this one which have supported jobs and powered on through the global pandemic have been a critical part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan,” the Premier said.

“The Sunshine Coast was already a growing community pre-COVID which is why this upgrade was vital but because of our strong health response, it’s become even more popular.

“And because Queensland is the place to be, we have to keep up with demand and that’s why we’re delivering a $27.5 billion roads and transport plan over the next four years which is creating 24,000 jobs, driving Queensland’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

“A big part of this investment is on the Sunshine Coast with a pipeline of $3.9 billion worth of road and transport projects being delivered over the next four years.

“These projects will transform the Bruce Highway, getting locals home faster, and giving tourists more time to enjoy their holidays on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

“From Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway, the Bruce is now three lanes each way at 110km/h, cutting travel times.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said this stretch is a key piece of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to build a better Bruce and is supported by a massive pipeline of work which is ramping up.

“Further north, the $301 million Bruce Highway Upgrade between the Maroochydore Road and Mons Road Interchanges is keeping 380 Queenslanders in jobs,” Mr Bailey said.

“And it’s just reached an important milestone with drivers now using a newly built bridge over Eudlo Creek at Forest Glen.

“Down the road, the $662.5 million Bruce Highway, Caboolture-Bribie Island Road to Steve Irwin Way upgrade is well underway, supporting an estimated 660 direct jobs over the life of the project.

“Back towards Brisbane, the Deception Bay Road Interchange – a $163.3 million Bruce Highway Upgrade, supporting 270 direct jobs, is progressing well.”

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that the Sunshine Coast is now seeing Commonwealth investment in infrastructure like never before.

“Since before my election in 2016 I have been campaigning for the road and rail infrastructure that the Sunshine Coast needs and I am proud that the Federal Government has made our region a priority,” Mr Wallace said.

“Today, we can see the first results of that commitment in this ground-breaking project.

“With enhanced safety and smoother traffic flows this upgraded section of the Bruce is going to improve the Sunshine Coast experience for visitors, allow local businesses to move their staff and goods around the region faster and easier, and help Sunshine Coast locals spend more time at home with their families.

“This project is a major boost for our community, and with more Commonwealth-supported upgrades already underway on the Highway between the Coast and Brisbane, it is only the beginning for our region.”

State Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said the Sunshine Coast is booming, and the Palaszczuk Government is backing it like never before.

“We’re getting on and building a better Bruce for the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Hunt said.

“Closer to the beach, planning is underway on the massive Mooloolah River Interchange, the $320 million project which will unlock one of the Sunshine Coast’s biggest bottlenecks.

“All of this work will build a better Bruce, unlock the Maroochydore business hub, and support this rapidly growing community.”

State Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton said the Bruce Highway Upgrade – Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway also created an important active transport corridor.

“The Palaszczuk Government wants to keep Queenslanders healthy and safe, and that’s why we’re encouraging more active transport options,” Mr Skelton said.

“As part of this project we’ve delivered more than nine kilometres of new active transport infrastructure for people walking and riding bikes.

“This will encourage more people to hit the pavement and jump on the bike to get to their destination.”

Key features of the project include:

  • Australia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange at Caloundra Road.
  • New free-flowing, grade-separated ramps replacing the existing intersection on the old Bruce Highway northbound exit ramp to the Sunshine Motorway near Wilson Road.
  • Improved flood immunity to the Bruce Highway.
  • An upgrade from two to three lanes of the Bruce Highway in each direction between the two interchanges at a posted speed of 110km/h.
  • New two-way Frizzo Connection Road between Steve Irwin Way and Tanawha Tourist Drive, separating long distance traffic from local traffic, allowing the highway to function as a high-speed, high-volume corridor, improving safety and network efficiency.
  • More than nine kilometres of new active transport infrastructure for people walking and riding bikes.
  • A new car-pool facility catering for up to 240 vehicles between the Bruce Highway and Pignata Road at Palmview, as well as nine new bus stop facilities.
  • Intelligent Transport Systems such as web/CCTV cameras, vehicle detection technology, variable speed limit signs and variable message signs.
  • Environmental measures such as 49 fauna escape poles, a fauna rope ladder and 162 metres of fauna logs.
  • Planting of more than 245,000 plants, trees and shrubs.
  • The $932 million project was jointly funded on an 80:20 basis with the Australian Government contributing $745.6 million and the Queensland Government providing $186.4 million.

This project is part of the 15-year, Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, a $13 billion program of works to improve safety, flood resilience and capacity along the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns.