Doing What Matters: New Barron River Bridge

Published Thursday, 11 July, 2024 at 10:25 AM


The Honourable Steven Miles

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Transport and Main Roads and Minister for Digital Services
The Honourable Bart Mellish

  • A re-elected Miles Labor Government will deliver a new bridge over the Barron River at Kuranda Range, backed by a $450 million commitment.
  • The election commitment follows significant support from local champion, Craig Crawford, and the Barron River community. 
  • The Barron River Bridge on the Kennedy Highway is a vital economic and social connector for Far North Queensland

Premier Steven Miles has joined Barron River MP Craig Crawford to make a major election commitment for the Kuranda Range Road.

If re-elected, the Miles Labor Government will deliver a new crossing over the Barron River backed by a $450 million funding commitment. This will be fully funded through additional borrowings.

The new Barron River Bridge would replace the current bridge, which was opened in 1963.

Following construction, the existing bridge would be removed.

The new Barron River Bridge will include:

  • A new alignment, downstream of the current bridge
  • Concrete balanced cantilever design
  • Two wider traffic lanes to meet latest design standards, and
  • Protected active transport connections for pedestrians and bike riders.

Construction will begin in the next term of government and, based on Transport and Main Roads advice, will be complete by 2031.

The commitment follows significant investment from the State Government in the Kennedy Highway, Kuranda Range Road and Barron River Bridge.

The 2024 State Budget included a $15 million investment towards preconstruction activities for a New Barron River Bridge.

A further $262 million in joint funding from the Miles and Albanese Labor Governments will also deliver safety and resilience upgrades along Kuranda Range Road. The scope of these works is under development, but could include protective barriers and guardrails, shoulder widening, wide centre line treatments, Intelligent Transport Systems, vegetation management and slope stability treatments at strategic locations.

Almost $40 million was also invested to deliver intelligent transport solutions on the range, which was completed in March this year. This system helps to rapidly detect and manage incidents on the range and provide real time information from the range back to Transport and Main Roads.

Quotes attributable to Queensland Premier Steven Miles:

“Queenslanders can trust that my government is doing what matters for this state.

“And it’s my commitment that if re-elected in October, a government I lead will build the New Barron River Bridge.

“Local MP Craig Crawford has told me how much his community needs and wants this new crossing, and I’m proud that we can make this commitment to them today.

“We are doing the work right now to ensure this new crossing meets the needs of this growing region, while also protecting the beautiful heritage protected rainforest that surrounds it.

“With a $450 million funding commitment, my government will build this bridge to keep the Far North connected.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier and Treasurer Cameron Dick:

“Only Labor will deliver the New Barron River Bridge.”

“David Crisafulli is refusing to fund the New Barron River Bridge, proving that infrastructure investment is at risk under the LNP.

“David Crisafulli has promised to spend more, tax less, and lower debt.

“The only way David Crisafulli can do this is by cutting jobs and services, and refusing to fund the New Barron River Bridge.”

Quotes attributable to the Member for Barron River, Craig Crawford:

“I have listened to my community, and now a re-elected Miles Labor Government will deliver.

“Barron River locals can trust that I will deliver this for them – just look at the Smithfield Bypass – and we have a real $450 million funding commitment on the table to deliver a new bridge over the Barron River at Kuranda Range.

“Only a re-elected Miles Labor Government will deliver this the New Barron River Bridge for the Far North.” 

Quotes attributable to the Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui:

“The Barron River Bridge is a critical piece of infrastructure for communities across Far North Queensland.

“I’m proud to have listened to my community and that a re-elected Miles Labor Government will deliver a new bridge at the Kuranda Range.

“I know how important the Barron River bridge is to communities in the Far North, so I’m proud we are now making this $450 million commitment.

“Only a re-elected Miles Labor Government will deliver the key infrastructure we need in the Far North as part of our Big Build.” 

Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Bart Mellish:

“A build of this size will take time, but Queenslanders can trust that a re-elected Miles Labor Government will deliver.

“My department has been hard at work laying the foundations for a new bridge over Barron River, and I’m advised this is the best solution for the area.

“Investigations, assessments, and maintenance will be ongoing to ensure the current bridge is fit and safe for purpose while we plan for the future.”

Further information: 

As part of an ongoing inspection and maintenance program, Transport and Main Roads carries out testing and maintenance works every three months for about four weeks.

Testing and inspections have confirmed that the bridge is safe for single-lane traffic under 42.5 tonne.  An assessment of the results of the latest inspections and maintenance works will determine if it is safe to reopen the bridge to two lanes.