Mount Isa, Queensland


Department of Transport and Main Roads



  • Roads


 2004 – 2006

Contract value

$50 – 75 million 


Barkly Highway Alliance Projects

Fast facts

71 km

of road construction / rehabilitation

300 m

long bridge (28 bridge spans total)

8 no.

major creek crossings

49 %

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce

62 no.


39 no.

bridge spans across all stages


The Barkly Highway, between Mount Isa and Camooweal, was rated as the worst road to travel in Queensland. Originally constructed during World War 2, it is a critical freight route as the main land-based transport connection between Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The Barkly Highway Upgrade Alliance – a partnership between government, industry and traditional owners – was created to deliver this complex project.

Stage 1. Johnson Creek Alliance – construction of 15 km and rehabilitation of 6 km of road from the Mount Isa to Camooweal section of the Barkly Highway, together with 138 m of bridges (11 spans in 3 bridges) in partnership with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and the Indigenous landholders (the Kalkadoon people).

Stage 2. Buckley River Alliance – 15 km of road construction, including 130,000m3 of earthworks, drainage, guardrail and landscaping in an alliance contract with TMR and incorporating the participation of the Kalkadoon people. The project includes eliminating all remaining single-lane sections, removing blind crests and dips that reduce visibility for drivers and upgrading eight major creek crossings.

Stage 3. Split Rock Inca Alliance the final Alliance contract with TMR and Myuma Pty Ltd (representing the Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation) involves 35 km of roadworks, starting 110 km outside of Mt Isa, 220,000m3 of earthworks, 62 culverts and three bridges, one which will be over 300 m long (28 bridge spans total).

“The Alliance was highly successful in delivering this complex project. Partnership between government, industry and traditional owners were the project’s hallmarks, with the Alliance exceeding the targets set out in the non-cost Key Results Areas and Key Performance Indicators for the project.”

Peter Trim, TMR District Director (North Western), Mar 2007

Project gallery

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