Truckies tipped to be big winners from Mackay Ring Road opening

mackay ring road

With the ribbon now cut on the eagerly-awaited $497.3 million Mackay Ring Road in Queensland, truckies should notice a big difference in travelling times in and around the sugar city.

The 11.3km Ring Road connects the south of Mackay at Stockroute Rd roundabout to the Bruce Highway, north of Mackay near Bald Hill Rd.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says the ring road’s nine overpasses and four bridges were game-changers that would transform how critical freight and the 116,000-strong community travelled.

“This is a cornerstone project for Mackay built by Mackay,” says Bailey.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government contributed $397.9 million to the Ring Road as part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, which is improving safety, capacity and flood resilience between Brisbane and Cairns.

“The 11.3-kilometre Ring Road will make it much easier to travel between the south of Mackay and the northern suburbs. Travel time through the town centre will reduce, particularly at peaks times and heavy vehicles will be removed from the Nebo Road,” says McCormack.

“We are investing in our post-pandemic future by delivering lasting infrastructure which will kick-start our economic recovery and benefit Australians for years to come.

“The Australian Government’s 80% contribution to this project is part of our $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline which will support our economy and create jobs, particularly for those in the construction and manufacturing industries.”

State Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert heralded the project’s completion as a win for the region, and acknowledged the 1,400-plus local workers who were instrumental in laying 90,000m2 of asphalt, 108 T-Girders and 11.3km of new road.

“Our community has bucked the national trend when it comes to jobs because of the Queensland Government’s billion-dollar program of roads for our region and the ring road,” Mrs Gilbert said.

As part of the occasion, Mrs Gilbert helped announce the names of the ring road’s new bridges after the community was invited to provide suggestions for the Pioneer River bridge, and smaller bridges over Lagoon Creek, Fursden Creek and Fursden Creek Overflow.

Suggestions were considered by a naming committee including local historian Berenice Wright OAM, Yuwi custodians Gary Mooney and Patricia Corrie, Gerry Doyle, a retired police officer and volunteer school chaplain, and Taleiyah Minniecon, Mackay 2019 Young Citizen of the Year.

With more than 80 submissions received the new structures will be named the Greg Sutherland Bridge, the Thomas Powell Bridge, the William and Frank Guthrie Bridge and the Margaret Insch Bridge.

“Greg Sutherland was a well-known and respected member of our community, remembered for his contribution to Rugby League and his work with young people.

Greg proudly promoted his South Sea Islander heritage and was recognised as a key advocate for Indigenous, Torres Strait Islander and South Sea Islander communities, helping improve opportunities for young people with skills training and employee assistance.

“The Guthrie brothers helped rebuild the city following the devastating cyclone of 1918, and Margaret Insch was a midwife who delivered 99 babies in the Pioneer Valley in the late 1800s, at times crossing flooded rivers and creeks in the middle of the night to treat those in need.

Thomas Powell was a leader in the sugar industry in the early 1900s and his family still have cane farming land in the area today.

“It’s Mackay locals and businesses that helped build it, the Mackay community that will reap the benefits of safer, faster travel throughout the city, and it’s some of Mackay’s biggest names who we’re honouring by naming the new bridges after them.”

For more information visit All local workers, were acknowledged for their valuable contribution, and were all invited to join the classic car club members to drive along the new road alignment to celebrate the completion.

Project fast facts

  • The 11.3-kilometre, Mackay Ring Road connects the south of Mackay at Stockroute Road roundabout to the Bruce Highway, north of Mackay near Bald Hill Road.
  • The project includes nine overpasses and four bridges.
  • Greg Sutherland Bridge, over the Pioneer River, is the largest bridge on the project (670 metres long).
  • Just one component of the new Greg Sutherland Bridge required the manufacture, transportation and placement of 108 T-Girders, each weighing up to 82 tonnes, measuring 1.8 metres tall, and 35 metres long.
  • All 108 T-Girders were manufactured in a specialist, precast, concrete facility in Rockhampton and transported to Mackay.
  • The Greg Sutherland Bridge has been built to withstand a one-in-100-year flood.
  • Earthworks: 1,101,126 m3
  • Excavation: 241,430 m3
  • Drainage installed: 3937 m
  • Concrete placed: 12,000 m3
  • Asphalt pavement installed: 90,000 m2
  • Tonnes of gravel used: 466,787
  • Piling completed: Driven 412, Bored 50
  • 150 T Girders and 636 deck units installed
  • Approximately 612,738 m2 of landscaping undertaken

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