The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing looks set to go ahead after the Nexus consortium signed contracts confirming it will deliver the landmark project.
More than 1,800 jobs in Queensland will be created during the construction of the $1.6 billion initiative, providing a significant boost for employment opportunities across the region.
News that the crossing has been given the green light is therefore likely to be encouraging for local jobseekers, including those pursuing apprenticeships.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss claimed the scheme is a key part of the state’s industrial and economic growth. He said there would also be substantial social benefits.
“This project continues the Australian government’s commitment to improving national prosperity, increasing productivity and delivering the infrastructure Australia needs,” he explained.
“The new road will … save up to 40 minutes in travel time for heavy vehicles compared to travelling on the existing Range Crossing, while also avoiding 18 sets of traffic lights.”
According to Mr Truss, Nexus was selected for the project due to the consortium’s collective expertise and design skills. Value for money was also an important consideration.
The crossing is expected to be a crucial thoroughfare for freight vehicles transporting goods to the Port of Brisbane.
Toowoomba crossing benefits
Politicians on a national, state and local level have expressed support for the project, which will commence construction later this year and be completed in 2018.
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt said his department had led an extensive procurement campaign to ensure the best outcomes. He added that it is a “great day” for the Darling Downs area now that the procurement phase is over.
“I’m delighted through this process we’ve been able to deliver an outcome that demonstrates innovation, value for taxpayers and is environmentally responsible,” he stated.
These sentiments were echoed by Queensland Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey, who welcomed the fact that procurement processes had wrapped up during Road Safety Week.
Mr Bailey claimed the crossing would provide several benefits, including enhanced safety for drivers, faster journey times and much-needed jobs in Queensland.
“The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing will bring $2.4 billion over 30 years of productivity gain for business and industry to Toowoomba,” he added.
Nexus will deliver the project as a public-private partnership, with the Queensland government supplying $321 million of the capital. The Commonwealth is investing over $1.2 billion.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator