The Federal Government reports that 32 concrete girders, each the length of a fully-grown blue whale, have been installed as part of construction on a new overpass west of Toowoomba, Queensland.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said duplication of the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Oakey was ramping up, with the major engineering milestone recently achieved between Charlton and Kingsthorpe.
According to Mr. Chester, the installation of the girders for the new overpass at the intersection of Kingsthorpe-Haden Road and Gowrie Mountain School Road represented a major milestone in the Stage 2 duplication of the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Oakey.
“This is a known crash site and safety on the highway will be greatly enhanced once the overpass is opened to traffic in November 2017,” said Mr. Chester. “This $160 million upgrade is one of 15 projects being delivered as part of the Warrego Highway Upgrade Program.”
Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey, has said the girders, which measure 25 metres long and weigh 27.7 tonnes, would provide the platform for the new overpass on the highway at the intersection of Kingsthorpe-Haden Road and Gowrie Mountain School Road.
Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh said the girders needed specialised heavy transport to move, and large cranes to lift and place them on the bridge sub-structure.
“The installation of 32 concrete girders formed an important component for the construction of the new overpass,” said McVeigh. “Stage one of the project was completed in July 2016 and the Stage two upgrade between Charlton and Kingsthorpe will vastly improve safety through better separation of opposing lanes of traffic, upgrading several intersections and providing new turning lanes,” said Mr. McVeigh.
The Australian Government has committed $128 million towards the $160 million Toowoomba to Oakey Duplication Stage 2 (Charlton to Kingsthorpe) project, with the Queensland Government contributing $32 million.
The $635 million Warrego Highway Upgrade Program is funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 funding split arrangement.