Construction activity on the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing is stepping up, with work starting this week on twin arch bridges that will carry New England Highway traffic over the top of the route where it cuts through the Toowoomba Range at Mount Kynoch, on Toowoomba’s northern edge.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said arch bridges were not common in Australia and their position on Mount Kynoch would be prominent on the Toowoomba skyline.
“The New England Highway bridges will be an iconic feature of the project, each towering 30m above the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and will be built using a very interesting ‘top-down’ approach, where the bridges will be built first and the ground under them excavated later,” Mr Chester said.
“Once built, the new bridges will carry about 20,000 vehicles a day on the New England Highway over the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.
“This project in Toowoomba will have a major impact on the national road network, saving time and money for freight operators as far and wide as Darwin and Melbourne.”
Queensland Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said works would also start this week to build a bridge over Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Road at Wellcamp.
“We’ll also be building a three-span ‘super-tee’ bridge which the project team will be able to construct without stopping traffic, or altering the current alignment of Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Road,” Mr Bailey said.
“The three-span bridge will take the TSRC over Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Road, where there will be a grade-separated interchange.
“There is so much taking place on the TSRC this year – and along with these major bridge projects, we will also see works continue on the Gore, Warrego East and Warrego West highway interchanges.”
The Australian Government has committed up to $1.137 billion, representing 80 per cent of the cost of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project, with Queensland contributing $321 million, equivalent to 20 per cent through public-private partnership contract arrangements.