Things are building up on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project.
The sod-turning ceremony to kick off the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing occurred on December 7th. Currently, preliminary construction activities are being carried out. These involve:
- Geotechnical investigations for structures (which will finish later this month).
- Geotechnical investigations for the viaduct at Spring Bluff.
- Potholing to identify underground services.
- Fencing works - these include boundary fencing along the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing corridor.
Over the coming months, major works will start to occur, depending on weather and other factors (such as plant availability). The project, from design to construction to completion, is expected to take around three years. Nexus, the construction consortium contracted for the work, is placing a strong emphasis on local plant and equipment suppliers.
Nexus is comprised of Plenary Group, Cintra, Acciona Concessions, Acciona Infrastructure, Ferrovial Agroman and Transfield Services. Every single one of the companies involved in pricing the project used iSeekplant to some degree - so this is great for our clients! Congrats guys, you're already ahead of the pack.
The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project encompasses 42km of road and represents enormous opportunities for local plant hire companies. Once complete, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing should carve half an hour off truck journeys via Toowoomba, allowing drivers to miss 18 sets of traffic lights.
The main features of the proposed design for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing include:
- Two lanes each way for much of the highway.
- Grade separated interchanges and connections at four locations.
- A 30m deep cutting at the top of the Range, rather than the originally proposed tunnel.
- An 800m long viaduct over the rail line.
- Continuity of the New England Highway through a new bridge across the cutting.
Connecting the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa with the Gore Highway at Athol, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing will shift traffic north of Toowoomba, also going through Charlton. Overall, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project is worth more than $1.6 billion, with $1.285 coming from the federal government.
Up to 1,800 full time jobs will be created during construction, for plant hire companies, skilled workers, labourers and support staff. Over the next thirty years, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing is expected to generate over $2.4 billion worth of value to the economy, particular in regards to productivity gain.
Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister at the time, said "We are determined that it is a good project, and a well-managed one, that the community will be proud of."
In order to recoup some operational costs, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing will be a toll road. At this stage, toll costs have not been determined. Community consultation will be undertaken prior to establishment of toll pricing.