Second Range design change could save months
A SLIGHT design change could shave months off the Toowoomba Second range Crossing build as the State Government considers its viability with a view of minimising impacts on residents.
Queensland Main Roads and Safety Minister Mark Bailey said the government was considering realigning a 1km stretch of the New England Hwy west of the existing road at Mount Kynoch.
The design change could shave up to four months off the long-awaited $1.6 billion build, with Nexus reportedly prepared to absorb additional costs.
"If approved, the alternative solution could save three to four months' construction time on the cutting through the Toowoomba Range and construction of the bridge on the New England Hwy where it crosses over the TSRC," Mr Bailey said.
"The realignment would eliminate the need to build a temporary diversion road during construction.
"It is a busy road at this location, carrying almost 20,000 vehicles a day, so a permanent solution would benefit the large number of motorists travelling along this road."
Mr Bailey said Nexus supported the realignment and indicated it was willing to absorb additional costs due to the reduced construction time and risks to existing water mains running alongside the New England Hwy.
"The temporary road currently planned would have tight curves and the speed limit would have to be reduced substantially, so this alternative option will increase road safety and productivity," Mr Bailey said.
"Building a permanent road also means there will be little or no impact on road users from Highfields and other centres north of Toowoomba."
"Investigations are ongoing to determine the benefits of the realignment and discussions with impacted stakeholders are continuing."
A decision will be made after extensive consideration of the realignment proposal.