In particular, the $21 million Toowoomba transport corridor which officially broke ground this month, with workers starting work on May 9.
While the Toowoomba Regional Council covered $11 million of the project’s costs, the state government provided the rest through the already highly successful Royalties for the Regions program, Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said.
Mr Seeney revealed that the road is expected to cater for more than 22,000 vehicles by 2031, with more than a quarter of these being heavy vehicles related to the Surat Basin’s multi-billion dollar energy province and broader Darling Downs region.
An area expected to benefit significantly from the upgrade and infrastructure improvement is the Charlton-Wellcamp Enterprise Area. This jurisdiction will deliver a potential $1.3 billion to the local and state economies once fully operational.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Member for Toowoomba South John McVeigh explained how the road works would help boost the local economy and create thousands of jobs and apprenticeships in Toowoomba.
“This project will create a central link between the north-eastern and south-western sections of a proposed 1792 hectare industrial area expansion,” he said in a May 9 statement.
“It has the potential to create between 12,000 and 15,000 jobs as a major industrial expansion area servicing the Surat Basin and Darling Downs.”
Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio has welcomed and supported the upgrade of the O’Mara Road connection, as this project should enhance capacity, increase road safety and improve access to the region.
“The enterprise area and its transport systems need to interact seamlessly with the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, Brisbane West Airport, the Warrego Highway and the proposed multi-modal freight hub,” Mr Antonio said.
“The O’Mara Road upgrade will provide a basis for that to happen.”
Work on this project is scheduled to continue through to late 2015, giving local apprentices and trainees plenty of time to get on board. The first stage will include road widening, the addition of a underwater storm water system and installation of signalled intersections.
Additionally, a new bridge will be built over Dry Creek to help improve flood prevention in case of a 1-in-100 year event. Furthermore, pedestrians and cyclists will also be catered for with the addition of an off-road shared pathway on the western side.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator