The $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing has opened to traffic, connecting the Lockyer Valley with Toowoomba.
The 41 kilometre bypass route to the north of Toowoomba, includes an 800 metre long viaduct.
The crossing was jointly funded by a Federal Government contribution of $1.137 billion, and the Queensland Government contributed the remainder through Public Private Partnership contract agreements.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said it will make transportation more efficient and take trucks out of central Toowoomba.
“This is a monumental project for the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley communities and a centrepiece of our $100 billion nationwide infrastructure investment that is getting Australians to where they need to be sooner and safer – including in our regions,” Mr. McCormack said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said after creating more than 3700 local jobs during construction, the crossing would now play a vital role supporting the ongoing growth of the region and state’s industries.
“It means our world-class exports can get to their destination quicker, and motorists across Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley can get home safer,” Ms. Palaszczuk said.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey attended opening festivities, and said the project had the backing of the heavy vehicle industry and peak motoring groups, relieving pressure on Toowoomba’s roads.
“Today [September 8] marks the return of James Street to the Toowoomba community, the beginning of a more efficient future for our truckies and is fantastic news for our regional economy,” Mr. Bailey said.