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Toowoomba Second Range Crossing


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


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


The department is delivering 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 the city’s residents.


Nexus Infrastructure Pty Ltd


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.

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. This route requires almost 22,000 vehicles (including 2900 heavy vehicles) to pass through the city’s Central Business District each day.

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. 

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. 

The Second Range Crossing will be a toll road. Tolls will not be finalised until closer to the opening of the road, in 2019.

Range crossing design

Drivers will pass through a cutting, not a tunnel as first planned, to cross the Great Dividing Range at an elevation of approximately 600m at Mount Kynoch, 6km north of Toowoomba’s City Hall. The tunnel solution as detailed in the original reference design did not allow for the passage of some dangerous goods and over-dimensional heavy vehicles, while the proposed open cut solution provides a better outcome.

Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project: map


August 2018

Earthworks are more than 95 per cent complete, bridge program (30 bridges) 95 per cent complete, granular pavements 80 per cent complete, foamed bitumen pavements 75 per cent complete, and asphalt pavements 45 per cent complete. 

The 6 interchanges under construction will integrate the new toll road into the national transport network, making it safer and saving time and money for industry.

Work is complete on the Warrego Highway western interchange  bridge at Charlton, 98 per cent complete on the Gore Highway interchange bridge at Athol, while the Warrego Highway eastern interchange bridge at Helidon Spa is halfway to completion.

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.

July 2018


Project delays

On 17 January 2018, construction contractor Nexus Infrastructure (Nexus) advised the department it expected a delay due to a geotechnical issue in a 650 metre-long embankment located on the Toowoomba Range escarpment.

Nexus worked with geotechnical and design specialists to develop a solution for the embankment. Its remedial solution requires a large earthworks operation (approximately 3.36 million cubic metres) to remove the embankment built to date, undertake foundation treatment works and backfill the embankment.

WHS Audit of Mobile Plant Incidents

Prensa Pty Ltd was commissioned by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to conduct an Independent Work Health and Safety Audit of vehicle rollover incidents that have occurred on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project.

Community info

Help name the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing

The department needs your help to name the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and some of its key features.

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:

Phone: 1800 198 878

You can also follow Nexus on Facebook and Twitter.

Media gallery

Fact sheets


Intersection maps

Last updated
17 September 2018