TSRC: New U-turn facilities proposed for Warrego Highway
WORK has started on one of two U-turn facilities to improve safety at the Postmans Ridge Road and the Warrego Highway intersection at Helidon Spa.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the removal of right-turn access and provision of U-turn facilities nearby would significantly reduce the crash risk at the intersection and allow safer movements onto the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC).
"These works will provide a safer alternative for drivers with U-turn facilities to be installed either side of the existing intersection to maintain access to Postmans Ridge Road and Twidales Road," Mr McCormack said.
Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said negotiations were taking place regarding the cost and staging of works to complete the U-turn facility near Twidales Road.
"The current plan is to stage works so the intersection crossover remains open until both U-turn facilities are available for use, however we still need to conduct a detailed analysis to determine whether we keep the crossover in place while the U-turn facility near Twidales Road is being built," Mr Bailey said.
Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said residents, business owners and the Lockyer Valley Regional Council were consulted to help achieve the best solution for the community.
"The community will be kept informed about the timing of the crossover closure, and we will maintain left in and left out turning ability on both sides of the Warrego Highway at the intersection," Mr Buchholz said.
Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the TSRC would deliver economic benefits for farmers west of the Great Dividing Range.
"This alternative crossing of the Toowoomba Range for all classes of heavy vehicles will improve freight movements and driver safety to support our farming communities and Western Queensland's local economies," Mr Furner said.
The TSRC involves the construction of a bypass route to the north of Toowoomba, about 41km in length, running from the Warrego Highway at Helidon in the east, to the Gore Highway at Athol in the west.
It will provide an alternative route and assist in managing increasing traffic volumes, particularly heavy vehicle movements from the developing resources region in the Surat Basin.
The Australian Government has committed $1.137 billion towards the TSRC with the Queensland Government contributing equivalent to 20 per cent through a Public Private Partnership with the Nexus consortium.