Earthworks on interchanges west of Toowoomba as part of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC) project are in full swing, with Stage 2 of the Gore Highway works at Athol and the Warrego West interchange projects now underway.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester inspected early works during a recent visit to the region.
“Creating good connections for heavy vehicles using the TSRC means fewer trucks through the middle of Toowoomba, quicker travel times for all drivers and improved safety all round,” Mr. Chester said.
“The Australian Government is investing up to $1.137 billion in the TSRC – money well spent when it comes to boosting the local, state and national economy and keeping people safe on our roads.”
Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh said linking the Gore Highway to the TSRC at Athol would improve the safety and efficiency of the interstate road network.
“The project will also improve safety for Toowoomba locals with fewer trucks travelling through the Central Business District. This is an exciting step forward, with Nexus starting construction of the TSRC on and off ramps, and a bridge over the Gore Highway,” Dr. McVeigh said.
Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud welcomed progress on the two interchanges.
“The Gore Highway will connect to the Warrego Highway through the TSRC and to the Newell Highway at Goondiwindi, forming part of the interstate road network used to transport goods between Brisbane and Melbourne,” Mr. Littleproud said.
“That makes these two interchanges vital links between the TSRC and the busy western and southern transport corridors for Toowoomba’s fast-developing industrial precinct. They will help underpin the region’s future economic growth and the creation of jobs for decades to come.”
The Warrego West interchange will be future-proofed, following agreements that the overpass bridges will be made longer over the westbound lanes of the Warrego Highway, leaving room for a possible cloverleaf link between the two roads when traffic numbers warrant it.
The Warrego West interchange will also mark the transition from dual to single carriageway on the TSRC. From the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa to Charlton, there will be two lanes in each direction. The western extent of the bypass will have one lane in each direction.
Works on the two interchanges are expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
The Australian Government is funding 80 per cent of the project – up to $1.137 billion. The Queensland Government will fund the remainder through PPP contract arrangements with the Nexus consortium.