Update: The 'Toowoomba Bypass' as it will be officially known is set to be officially opened on Sunday 8th September 2019.
The Toowoomba second range crossing is much needed infrastructure for the Toowoomba region. The benefit of the range crossing will have a positive impact both in the short and long term.
The immediate benefit will mean that much of the heavy traffic will be diverted out of Toowoomba city, which will reduce noise and pollution and reduce travel time, and increase safety. Long term benefits which will filter through the economy is greater transport efficiency, i.e.: quicker delivery of stock to the western downs and better financial outcomes for all the stakeholders involved.
Work on the project is expected to commence during the second half of 2015 and the construction period will take approximately 3 years. The project should be completed around late 2018, early 2019.
The improved transport efficiency will arise out of the fact that the steep climb up the range incline will no longer be a factor, and also the fact that seventeen sets of traffic lights will be bypassed. This will reduce travel time through the City of Toowoomba by forty minutes.
Funding for the project has been secured on an 80:20 basis, with the federal government committing 80% ($AU1.28 billion) and the Queensland government providing the shortfall of $AU320 million dollars. Total cost will be approx. $AU1.6 billion.
It will create approx. 1,800 jobs for the Toowoomba region during the 3 year construction phase, which will also bring immediate economic benefit to the region.
The second range crossing will be a 43Km stretch of road that will start at the Warrego highway in Helidon (east of Toowoomba) and end in the west at the Warrego highway in Charlton.
The bypass will comprise of 41Km of bypass, 700 metre twin three lane tunnels, thirty bridges, four viaducts.