THE Australian and Queensland governments last week announced the start of major construction on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project, which will extend from the Warrego Highway at Helidon in the east to the Gore Highway at Athol in the west via Charlton.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said the Australian Government had committed up to $1.137 billion to the TSRC project, making it the largest funding commitment to a single road project in Queensland.
"This is the start of large-scale construction on this vital piece of infrastructure, which will quickly take shape along the corridor between Helidon Spa in the Lockyer Valley and the Gore Highway at Athol, west of Toowoomba," Mr Chester said.
"A key feature of the 41km-long road is a cutting at the top of the Toowoomba Range, just north of Toowoomba, which will remove over-sized vehicles and dangerous goods from the centre of Toowoomba.
"The Australian and Queensland governments are jointly funding the TSRC in recognition of its significance in promoting regional economic development through the creation of employment and supply chain opportunities."
Queensland Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said the State Government has committed more than $321 million towards the joint project, which will see significant flow-on economic benefits to Toowoomba and Queensland.
"The construction company Nexus pledged to involve local business by sourcing over 75 per cent of goods and services locally. The TSRC is expected to bring an estimated $2.4 billion over 30 years of productivity gain for business and industry to Toowoomba," Mr Bailey said.
The project is being delivered by the Nexus consortium, with completion expected by late 2018.