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Toowoomba Second Range Crossing

Overview:

The department is delivering a second range crossing that takes heavy vehicle highway traffic around north of Toowoomba rather than through it.

Location:

The 41km-long route is from the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa in the east to the Gore Highway at Athol in the west, via Charlton.

Benefits:

The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC) is an alternative crossing of the Toowoomba Range for all classes of heavy and super heavy vehicles to improve freight efficiency and driver safety, relieve pressure on Toowoomba’s roads, and enhance liveability for residents of the city and its near neighbour Withcott in the Lockyer Valley.

Supplier:

Nexus Infrastructure Pty Ltd.

Funding:

This project is being delivered under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, with an indicative total cost of $1.606 billion. This includes an Australian Government contribution of $1.137 billion, with the balance to be funded by the Queensland Government.

Regions:
Downs South West Region

Project info

In August 2015 Nexus was awarded the contract to design and construct the 41 kilometre motorway, including road and pavements, cuttings, structures, and underground services, plus the 25 year operations and maintenance contract.

The Second Range Crossing will play a key role in accelerating the growth of regional Australia. Toowoomba is a key, strategic link in the National Land Transport Network with almost half of all exports from the Port of Brisbane originating from regions accessed via the existing Warrego Highway Toowoomba Range section.

Of the 24,600 vehicle movements daily on the existing crossing, 4400 are heavy vehicles. Up to 80 per cent of these are expected to divert via the 41km-long TSRC, linking the existing Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa in the east and the Gore Highway at Athol in the west (via Charlton).

The Second Range Crossing will be a toll road. Tolls will be finalised closer to the opening of the road, in 2019.

A geotechnical issue under an embankment at Ballard on the range escarpment north of Toowoomba and subsequent remediation works delayed the opening of the full length of the whole TSRC in 2018.

The 'western half' of the TSRC was opened to traffic between Cranley on Toowoomba’s northern edge and the Gore Highway, at Athol, 25km west of the city, on 8 December 2018.

This 24km section provides road users with a host of new connections between key destinations such as the Toowoomba CBD and Wellcamp Airport, which is serviced by a grade-separated interchange at Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Road, Wellcamp. 

No tolls will be charged until the whole road is open.

Benefits at a glance:

  • improved road and driver safety
  • reduced travel times and greater travel time reliability
  • avoiding up to 18 sets of traffic lights
  • relieved pressure on Toowoomba roads by redirecting heavy vehicles away from Toowoomba's Central Business District
  • removal of over-dimensional and all classes of dangerous goods vehicles from the suburban streets of Toowoomba
  • increased freight efficiencies
  • enhanced liveability for residents of the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley areas. 

Regional economic impacts measured for the 2012 Business Case indicate the Second Range Crossing will increase the regional productivity of Toowoomba by $2.4 billion (Net Present Value), and national productivity by $3.1 billion (NPV).

Key features include:

  • 4 lanes (2 lanes each way) from Warrego Highway eastern interchange at Helidon to the Warrego Highway western interchange at Charlton
  • grade-separated interchanges at Warrego Highway west, Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Road and Gore Highway
  • grade-separated connections to Mort Street and Boundary Street
  • a 30m-deep cutting at the top of the Toowoomba Range as an alternative to the tunnel solution as detailed in the reference design
  • an 800m-long viaduct built over the existing Queensland Rail rail line, connecting the Lockyer Valley and the Toowoomba Range escarpment
  • continuity of the New England Highway through a new bridge over the cutting.

Range crossing design

Drivers will pass through a cutting to cross the Great Dividing Range at an elevation of approximately 600m at Mount Kynoch, 6km north of Toowoomba’s City Hall. The design allows for all classes of heavy vehicles and for transport of hazardous materials.

The New England Highway was realigned at Mount Kynoch, just north of Toowoomba, to enable construction of dual arch bridges (70m long with 55m arch spans) to carry highway traffic over the Second Range Crossing cutting and minimise the impacts on highway traffic while the new section of road and the bridges were built.

The New England Highway arch bridges were built using a top-down approach, which meant the structures were completed before the ground below was excavated. 

Progress

April 2019

The geotechnical issue affecting the embankment at Ballard relates to a 650m-long section of the project alignment, but the scale of the remediation works has affected earthworks on a 4km section of the alignment. 

The central location of the embankment, due east of the viaduct at Ballard, also means the 12km-long completed section of road to the east cannot be opened until the embankment is repaired.

Substandard material below the embankment has all been removed and reconstruction of the embankment from foundation level is well underway. 

There is significant work ahead – to place the remaining 700,000m3 of material, construct the road over it, and install the signs and line marking and other road infrastructure. 

The name of the road and toll levels will be finalised closer to the opening of the TSRC.

U-turn construction works at Helidon Spa 

U-turns at Helidon Spa map

Completion of a u-turn facility east of the intersection of Twidales Road and the Warrego Highway completes work to accommodate the TSRC near Helidon Spa, 21km east of Toowoomba. 

This final stage enables the centre median of the intersection to be closed permanently, restricting right turns for safety reasons.

With traffic merging to take the nearby TSRC exit from the highway (westbound) or rejoining the highway from the TSRC (eastbound), there will be a marked increase in traffic movement adjacent to this intersection with the TSRC in operation.

Road users can take the eastern u-turn facility, or the western u-turn facility near the TSRC interchange bridge, for access between the Warrego Highway and homes and businesses on Postmans Ridge Road and Twidales Road.

The u-turn facility 750m east of Twidales Road will add 3 minutes of travel time from Postmans Ridge Road to Twidales Road or to Withcott and Toowoomba.

The other u-turn facility, 1.8km west of Postmans Ridge Road and adjoining the westbound lanes of the TSRC, will add five minutes of travel from Twidales Road to Postmans Ridge Road or the through-movement to Gatton and Brisbane on the Warrego Highway.

The new traffic arrangements will only affect right turns at the intersection and will not affect through-movements on the TSRC or the existing Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa.

The western u-turn facility called Paynters Loop Road was completed and opened to traffic in December 2018. It is situated between the TSRC entry and Richards Road, approximately 1.8km west of the existing intersection and is open to motorists travelling from:

  • Twidales Road to the Warrego Highway eastbound
  • Warrego Highway to Postmans Ridge Road westbound
  • Twidales Road to Postmans Ridge Road. 

The eastern u-turn facility is between Twidales Road and Helendale Drive, approximately 750m east of the existing intersection. 
Motorists will use the eastern u-turn when travelling from:

  • Warrego Highway to Twidales Road eastbound
  • Postmans Ridge Road to the Warrego Highway westbound
  • Postmans Ridge Road to Twidales Road.

Progress facts and figures: April 2019

  • 4 lanes from Warrego Highway East Interchange to Warrego Highway West
  • 10 million cubic metres of cut earthworks
  • 42 cut excavations on the main alignment
  • 30m deep cutting at the top of the range
  • Maximum 6.5% gradient down the range
  • 90km/h down the range, 100km/h on the rest of the TSRC
  • 2 truck safety emergency ramps on the down section (eastbound) of the range
  • Designed to accommodate type 1 road trains
  • 22 pull over bays long enough for type 1 road trains
  • 6.1m maximum clearance under bridges
  • New truck rest stop and decoupling area at Nass Road
  • 24 bridges
  • 40 road embankments.

Community info

Gazetted name

When opened the TSRC will officially become the Warrego Highway (route A2) from the Warrego east interchange (Helidon Spa) to the Warrego west interchange (Charlton) and the Gore Highway (Route A39) from the Warrego west interchange (Charlton) to the Gore Highway interchange (Athol).

Contact details

Nexus is responsible for community consultation and engagement with key stakeholders, local communities and affected property owners. Direct contact can be made with Nexus at:

Web: http://nexustsrc.com.au/
Frequently asked questions: http://nexustsrc.com.au/the-project/faq/
Phone:
1800 198 878
Email: info@nexustsrc.com.au

You can also follow Nexus on Facebook and Twitter.

Media gallery

Photographs

Viaduct from the east
Viaduct from the east

Viaduct to New England Highway
Viaduct to New England Highway

Fact sheets

Videos

Maps

Intersection maps

Last updated
30 April 2019