PROJECT ANTICIPATION: Don McLeod, from the Rocky Resort Motor Inn, said in 2016 that the Rockhampton Ring Road would be good for the region and won't harm business.
PROJECT ANTICIPATION: Don McLeod, from the Rocky Resort Motor Inn, said in 2016 that the Rockhampton Ring Road would be good for the region and won't harm business. Michelle Gately

Progress update for Rockhampton's massive Ring Road project

EXPECTED to be worth more than $1 billion, Rockhampton's massive Ring Road project is a game-changer for the region that is gathering steam.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has confirmed having no funding allocated to the construction of the Rockhampton Ring Road in the current 2018-19 to 2020-21 Queensland Transport and Road Investment Program (QTRIP).

Locals are eagerly waiting to see if Capricornia MP Michelle Landry will secure the federal funds to match Labor's candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson's promise to commence construction of the project within their first term of government if they were to win the election.

In February 2017, the Australian and Queensland Governments announced $65 million funding to commence the planning and preservation phase of the Rockhampton Ring Road, the key road infrastructure recommendation from the study.

ROAD MAP: Rockhampton Ring Road western road and rail corridor is currently in the planning and design stages.
ROAD MAP: Rockhampton Ring Road western road and rail corridor. Dept of Transport and Main Roads

A TMR spokesperson has provided The Morning Bulletin a progress update on this phase of the project.

"The Rockhampton Ring Road (Plan and Preserve) Project will use the defined corridor to develop infrastructure options, while considering the future rail network, to help address growing traffic volumes and move heavy freight off Rockhampton streets,” the spokesperson said.

"The first stage in the Rockhampton Ring Road (Plan and Preserve) Project is to gazette the proposed corridor as a Future State-Controlled Rd. We expect to formally gazette the corridor in late 2018.

"All landowners directly impacted by the proposed corridor have been contacted.”

The spokesperson said the intention of the gazettal process was to preserve and protect the future state-controlled road and rail corridor.

"This process includes assessing, and placing conditional agreements on any development applications for property in the identified corridor.

"Protecting the future state-controlled road corridor does not mean there is an immediate requirement to acquire the identified land,” they said.

"Forward planning of future transport infrastructure projects may affect some property owners well before possible construction.”

They said the compulsory property acquisitions were not occurring at this stage, but said directly impacted property owners could apply for consideration for an early purchase of their property under the TMR Early Acquisition Policy (available at tmr.qld.gov.au).

"The planning phase will deliver a business case for future construction of the Rockhampton Ring Road,” the spokesperson said.

"This will require the completion of environmental assessments, economic determinations and surveys.

"A range of pre-qualified consultants have been invited to tender for the delivery of the planning phase including the preliminary evaluation and business case.”

The Rockhampton Ring Road is a key piece of road infrastructure recommended in the Fitzroy River Floodplain and Road Planning Study (December 2011), which investigated long-term solutions for Bruce Highway flooding, congestion, impacts on freight, road and rail transport in and around the city of Rockhampton.

The Ring Road will provide a western link of the Bruce Highway with key linkages into the city at the Capricorn Highway, Ridgelands Rd, Alexandra St and Yaamba Rd (Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd).

The alignment will integrate with major infrastructure already completed, including Yeppen North and Yeppen South, as well as current works in development including the Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade and Capricorn Highway Duplication (Rockhampton-Gracemere).