It is a landmark weekend for Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley with the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC) officially opening to traffic today.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the TSRC was a 41-kilometre-long bypass route to the north of Toowoomba, including an 800-metre-long viaduct, making transportation more efficient and taking trucks out of central Toowoomba.
“This is a monumental project for the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley communities and a centrepiece of our $100 billion nationwide infrastructure investment that is getting Australians to where they need to be sooner and safer – including in our regions,” Mr McCormack said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said after creating more than 3,700 local jobs during construction, the crossing would now play a vital role supporting ongoing growth of the region and state’s industries.
“It means our world-class exports can get to their destination quicker, and motorists across Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley can get home safer,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey will attend opening festivities, and said the project had the backing of the heavy vehicle industry and peak motoring groups, relieving pressure on Toowoomba’s roads.
“Today marks the return of James Street to the Toowoomba community, the beginning of a more efficient future for our truckies and is fantastic news for our regional economy,” Mr Bailey said.
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport and Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said the completion of one of the largest road transport projects in Australia’s history was a milestone for the region and would relieve pressure on local roads, enhance safety and improve productivity.
“This project will be transformational for our region, taking thousands of heavy vehicles off the range crossing, reducing travel times and enhancing the liveability of nearby residents in my community of the Lockyer Valley,” Mr Buchholz said.
Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh said the opening of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing was an historic moment for the Toowoomba region, many decades in the making.
“Many people over many years have contributed to this very important event in our region’s history. Today we celebrate that contribution and look forward with great optimism to the many benefits the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing will deliver to our community,” he said.
The $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing was jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, with the Australian Government contributing $1.137 billion and the balance funded by the Queensland Government.