The Queensland Government has opened the western section of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC), it announced over the weekend.
A major infrastructure project for Queensland’ largest inland city, Toowoomba, the completion of the section between Cranley and Gore Highway before Christmas will open access to residents and visitors to Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley regions southwest of Brisbane.
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormack said with work to be completed on the eastern section at Ballard throughout the first half of 2019, another 41-kilometre-long toll road passing between Toowoomba’s northern side is set to link Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa in the east and Gore Highway at Athol in the west.
“People now have an opportunity to see the results of the hard work and skilled engineering that has supported the delivery of this world-class road project,” he said.
The opened section of TSRC between Charlton and Cranley will provide a new connection for light commercial vehicles between the logistics hub at Charlton and the central business district, according to John Witheriff, Nexus Infrastructure Chairman.
“This section is also a B-double route , providing access from the Charlton to the New England Highway for travel north from Toowoomba,” he said.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project would deliver economic benefits over decades to come.
“The Second Range Crossing is projected to contribute more than $2.4 billion in economic and productivity gains for Toowoomba businesses and industry over the next 30 years,” he said.
“Local participation from the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley region on the project was measured at just over 80 per cent in the total dollar value of contracts with up to 1800 direct and indirect jobs forecast to be created during the construction, operation and maintenance stages of the project,” Mr. Bailey said.
“The local economic benefits are clear, but the wider freight industry also stands to gain from this visionary project.”
Mr. Bailey said the TSRC provides access to the newly opened truck stop and decoupling pad on Nass Road at Charlton through traffic signals installed at the Warrego Highway-Nass Road intersection.
“This will enable operators to reconfigure vehicles on the pad before travelling east of Charlton, check their loads and take a break,” he said.
Tolls will be announced closer to the completion of the whole road.
As of 8 December commercial vehicles will be given access to the Nass Road truck stop and decoupling pad at Charlton.
When Toowoomba Regional Council completes the upgrade at Griffith Street it will be designated as a multi-combination vehicle route with as-of-right access for B-doubles to the New England Highway.
From 8 December, B-doubles using the route will be detoured via Jellicoe Street until the upgrade is complete.