In what promises to transform the national freight network in the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley regions, the $1.6 billion Second Range Crossing has been scheduled to open the Federal Government announced this week.
The project which opens 8 September is expected to reduce travel times across the range and deliver a safer, more efficient connection to ports and key markets.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said connecting the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa in the east to the Gore Highway at Athol in the west will form a vital strategic link within Australia's National Freight Network and fulfil the emerging intermodal network in Toowoomba.
“Right across Australia, the Federal Government is investing to get people home to their loved ones sooner and safer,” he said.
The redirection of trucks away from Toowoomba’s central business district would alleviate pressure from local roads according to Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey.
“The opening of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing in September will be the moment that the decades of dedication and hard work from so many people to see this road built is finally achieved," he said.
“Construction of the Second Range Crossing has already delivered huge economic benefits to Toowoomba and the Darling Downs," Bailey added.
“Those benefits will continue thanks to the freight efficiencies and improved road safety outcomes that come with the completion of this major project.”
Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh said the Australian Government’s $1.137 billion investment provided a major boost to the region’s economy.
“Through a range of employment and supply chain opportunities the project has already had a major impact on the Australian economy,” he said.
“This is fantastic news for residents and visitors to the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley regions and I’m looking forward to seeing the first vehicles driving through in just over a month.”