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Old June 25th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #1
Danubis
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U/C: Toowoomba Second Range Crossing

Still in the Planning Stage and a few years off, as the fed government still hasnt even committed any funding for it, but really is a much needed infrastructure project for the Toowoomba and the South east. The tunnel section should be quite cool aswell if it goes ahead!

Proposed Routes





Toowoomba Second Range Crossing Planning

Under AusLink, the Australian Government is committed to securing the land necessary for a future bypass of Toowoomba along a route passing north of the city near Mount Kynoch. The Australian government has committed $33.25 million for planning and land purchases at Toowoomba. A further $10 million was committed in November 2005 to develop the concept of a Public Private Partnership which could see the Toowoomba Bypass built earlier as a subsidised toll road.

West of Charlton, the identified corridor may be suitable for both road and rail. While there is a rail corridor through the Toowoomba Range, the proposed Toowoomba bypass alignment to the east may not be suitable for rail because of different engineering standards required for road and rail modes.


Project description

The proposed Toowoomba bypass is 42 km long, running from Helidon Spa in the east to the Gore Highway near Westbrook Creek in the west. The identified route rises 450 metres to the top of the range and has maximum grades of 5.5 per cent. The existing range crossing has tight curves and grades of up to 10 per cent, which limits the speed of vehicles to 60 kph to 80 kph.

It is proposed that the bypass will have four lanes from Helidon Spa to Charlton, a future industrial area west of Toowoomba, and two lanes from there to the Gore Highway.


Why it is needed

Toowoomba is at the junction of three significant road freight corridors: the Warrego, Gore and New England highways. An additional range crossing will be required as traffic volumes on the interstate highways through Toowoomba increase over coming years.


The benefits it will deliver

The project offers a solution to traffic congestion created by the exceptional growth in south-east Queensland. This project will also enhance safety for motorists.


Strategic and network benefits

Toowoomba is a significant and expanding regional centre. Much of the intra and interstate inland road freight from western Queensland passes through Toowoomba. While the existing Warrego Highway through the Toowoomba Range is operating within capacity for the time being, increasing numbers of heavy vehicles using it have raised concerns about safety and public amenity.

The proposed bypass would link with the surrounding road network eight interchanges planned for the bypass route.


Economic and social benefits

A range of issues will influence the design of the bypass and its alignment within the adopted corridor. The proposal will consider opportunities for integration of road and rail freight tasks, where appropriate, with significant economic benefits for Toowoomba.


Construction timetable

The Queensland Department of Main Roads has almost completely acquired relevant properties in order to secure all the land along the future bypass corridor.


Funding

The Australian Government provided $33.25 million in funding and to secure most of the corridor so that future land development will not block the route of a second range crossing when it is ultimately required. A further $10 million was committed for the development of a business case for a Public Private Partnership. This work will be undertaken in 2005/06 and 2006/07.


What does the Toowoomba Bypass involve?

In general terms the new corridor is 43 km long, rises 450 metres from the start to the top of the Range with maximum grades of 5.5% (almost half as steep as the existing crossing). The road would be designed for a speed of 110 km/h, as opposed to the existing Range crossing which is suitable for speeds of only 60-80 km/h.

The current proposal is to have a four-lane road in the section from Helidon Spa through to Charlton, reducing to two lanes from Charlton to the Gore Highway at Athol. The current plan is also to provide a limited number of access points, where vehicles can enter or leave the bypass. The option of constructing a tunnel through the top of the Range will also be investigated.


What has been done so far?

Planning Study:
In 1994-97, a planning study for the new route was undertaken. Its objectives were to:

- determine the need for a second Range crossing and bypass of Toowoomba; and
- determine a suitable route so it could be protected and preserved for the future.

The main outcome from the study was a Traffic Report prepared by Ove Arup (Dec 1995), an identified corridor for the proposed bypass and an Environmental Impact Assessment prepared by Maunsells (May 1997). A number of sub-consultants’ reports make up the background papers to the EIA. These cover issues including noise, air pollution, cultural heritage, environmental impacts and community consultation.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 02:18 AM   #2
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Although it's still a little while off, this is long overdue. While I enjoy the trip both up and down the range when I visit Toowoomba, it will be a much safer trip when this is eventually completed. And it sounds as though the preliminary plans are well thought out, too!
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Old June 26th, 2006, 04:19 AM   #3
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Toowoomba is a pretty place, will be good if it gets a better rail link out of this as well.

A city that size should have a few trains a day doing the trip to Brisbane (and in around 2 hours).
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Old June 27th, 2006, 10:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Bhoy
Toowoomba is a pretty place, will be good if it gets a better rail link out of this as well.

A city that size should have a few trains a day doing the trip to Brisbane (and in around 2 hours).
they have the 'overlander' or something that runs once a day. its very slow, something like 3-4 hour range (even longer going back up the range i presume), bus trip on other hand is 1hour 40mins to roma st.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 10:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danubis
they have the 'overlander' or something that runs once a day. its very slow, something like 3-4 hour range (even longer going back up the range i presume), bus trip on other hand is 1hour 40mins to roma st.

Twice a week actually, and over 3 hours.. While there is Suncoast Pacific Coaches which takes about over 90 mins from Toowoomba to Roma Street
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Old June 28th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #6
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the problem with the trains is the bloody range, the route which it follows is steep and wind and has to go north before it comes back south into toowoomba, im currently posted to toowoomba and i actually dont mind the drive to brisbane these days, its a nice road the whole way the last traffic lights were just replace with a overpass and it actually only gets crap when you get to Ipswich. ALso i dont think the range drive is that bad, but it is chaos if a truck crashes and shuts down the whole road.

Thats generally why i dont even go that way, take a back way down the range that i know, its a nice windy road to keep the mind awake
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Old June 29th, 2006, 09:00 AM   #7
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i think with the proposed new road, the tunnel will take some of the incline out of the crossing and wont be as windy (is that how windy is spelt lol)
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Old June 29th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOCC
its a nice road the whole way the last traffic lights were just replace with a overpass and it actually only gets crap when you get to Ipswich.
I can't believe that the junction of the Warrego and Brisbane Valley Highways is still an at-grade intersection! On the outskirts of a capital city too! What are the traffic volumes there? Is it an accident blackspot? Are there any plans to convert it to a grade-separated interchange? If any intersection justified the expense of grade-separation then surely this is it.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 01:52 AM   #9
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Toowoomba Second Range Crossing

I only started this thread about two months but its allready slid off the two pages of transportation... if anyone can find the other thread can you please merge it with this one again? cheers.

anyhoo, some action (finally) -

Range road test tunnel

26.08.2006
By Susan Searle
[email protected] THE FIRST sod for the $1 billion second Toowoomba Range crossing will soon be turned albeit for a pilot tunnel to test the geotechnical challenges ahead near the rail line at Harlaxton.

Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane is excited as finally something visible will be done by the year's end to pacify his anxious constituents after years of promises.

The Federal Government allocated $10 million for the project last year.

Now it's being spent.

Half will go on the 735m-long by 2.5 metre-high tunnel to be drilled 90 metres below the New England Highway.

The remainder will be used to prepare a business case study to allow private enterprise companies to bid on public-private partnership for a toll road.
Costs, Mr Macfarlane predicted, had ballooned from $500 million to $600 million in 2003 to more than $1 billion.

"It (the highway) will happen," he says reassuringly.

"The opportunity is there to share the risk with government – a significant step to having green light by 2009.

"If we hope to reduce the cost of this much-needed road to taxpayers, potential private investors will want a robust examination of all likely construction costs, potential toll revenues and other financial aspects, which is what the proving-up phase, will deliver.

"If we wait for full goverment funding," he said.

"It will be behind the Ipswich motorway and the North Coast Highway."

The tunnel works come amid Mr Macfarlane's vows that there will be no noise, no vibrations, nor disruptions to nearby residents.

"The extracted material will be invaluable to engineers who will have to look at the most suitable design of any tunnel and the likely problems when a mucher larger structure went ahead.

"Without a geological snapshot of the ground, through which a tunnel might be bored, private sector investors might be reluctant to participate, or could seek a large contingency fee in their tender quote," he said.

Flanked by National Party candidate for Toowoomba North Lyle Shelton, Mr Macfarlane grinned as he reiterated the need for state government support.

"We still need the State Government to prioritise the Range highway," he said.

There is no love lost between Mr Macfaralane and State Minister for Transport and Main Roads Paul Lucas.

"In private public partnership the important thing will be that the State Government co-operates with the Federal Government. We've seen in other states where state governments have interfered with publicñprivate partnerships, which has shaken the confidence of investors."

He said the the cross-city tunnel in Sydney had been "a disaster for the investor" and that state government is being sued by the tunnel operator.

"We don't need them (state government) playing politics, just allow the good commercial investment where the risk will be shared by the Commonwealth," he begged.

Yesterday Mr Lucas hit back.

"Talk about tunnels – Mr Macfarlane is clearly in the dark about the hold-ups caused by his own government.

"As well as writing to Canberra numerous times since 2004, I met with Federal Roads Minister Jim Lloyd on November 9, 2004, then with Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson and Jim Lloyd again on December 15, 2004, and with Mr MacFarlane himself on December 17, 2004 to discuss the project.

"But Canberra refused to progress it.

"And it was only last year that there was any announcement from Canberra that it would progress the project further," Mr Lucas said.

"And Main Roads has requested Federal approval for the business case and associated pilot tunnel several times since Warren Truss announced the project in November last year." Approval only came through yesterday.

"It's outrageous that Mr Macfarlane did next to nothing to speed up the process and is now trying to claim the credit.

"I'm happy to compare construction credentials with Canberra anytime – the State Government outspends Canberra five to one on Queensland roads," Mr Lucas said.

Preliminary planning and design, including land acquisitions, are all but complete. The project is a 28km four-lane construction for the Warrego Highway link from the Helidon Spa to Charlton; 14km of two-lane construction for the Gore Highway from Charlton to the Gore Highway; three national highway interchange connections to the existing Warrego and Gore highways; two interchange connections at Mort Street and the Cecil Plains Road; a 735m-long twin tube tunnel at the top of the Range; 23 bridge structures, including a 200-metre viaduct bridge east of the tunnel; future six-lane considerations for major structures and maximum 6.5% grades attractive to heavy vehicles.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #10
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http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=366447
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Old September 4th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #11
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^I doubt much traffic goes up the Brisbane Valley Highway.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 01:06 PM   #12
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^ with respect, what are you basing that statement on toadman?
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Old September 7th, 2006, 03:11 PM   #13
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The Brisbane Valley highway is quite busy for where it is and the towns along the way... it's almost a 'bypass' if you like around brisbane..
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Old September 9th, 2006, 08:59 AM   #14
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oh ok, i missunderstood... cool bananas.
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Old September 9th, 2006, 09:08 AM   #15
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Almost follows the route of the old Brisbane valley railway.
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Due to defective brakes, the next train does not stop at this platform, intending passengers should board this train by running down the platform.

Doors may not be opened.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 04:51 AM   #16
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Will this be a dual carriageway?
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Old September 10th, 2006, 03:02 PM   #17
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yup, as far as i know, and i think the plan was to have 2 parallel tunnels through the range so that the grade is kept to a minimum... hence the huge cost i guess lol.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #18
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from the chronicle.com

Range crossing funding could be in Auslink

10.05.2007 By Rebecca Vonhoff

THE second Range crossing chapter is far from closed, according to Rod Scott.

President of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, Mr Scott said despite a deafening silence on future funding for the project in Tuesday night's Budget, it was hoped money would be allocated in the $22.3 billion Auslink II package designed to invest significantly in the country's road and rail infrastructure.

"I don't think the Range crossing story is completed yet," Mr Scott said.

"The Auslink initiative is a fabulous idea and I would like to think the Range crossing would be in that.

"The Chamber will be extremely disappointed if it's not included."

Mr Scott's comments come as the RACQ identified the Warrego Highway Bypass of Toowoomba as one of four vital projects in Queensland that have not yet received funding.

Despite a lack of reference to the bypass in any Budget material to date, Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane refused to concede the second Range crossing would never eventuate.

"There's nothing specific for any electorate, but Groom will get its share," Mr Macfarlane said.

A visit next Monday by the Federal Roads Minister Jim Lloyd to the Pittsworth-Toowoomba stretch of the Gore Highway came at a "great time" but was "not coincidental", added Mr Mafarlane.

Toowoomba Mayor Dianne Thorley said should an announcement of funding for the second Range crossing be made by Mr Lloyd, it would be an "early Christmas present" that would make her a "very happy woman".

Such an pronouncement was not a certainty, but Cr Thorley stressed the project was moving at a pace predicted in 2000.

"Its position in the hierarchy in roads has not changed," she said.

"It'll probably be done sometime between 2009 and 2014 as part of the Auslink II five-year plan."
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Old December 17th, 2013, 08:54 AM   #19
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http://m.thechronicle.com.au/news/70...et-bl/2117220/

Bypass $700m stands despite budget doom and gloom
Quote:
UPDATE:*A doom and gloom budget deficit announcement has not stopped the Federal Government from committing $700 million to building the Toowoomba bypass.

Speculation of a possible cut to the funding promise was rife in the lead-up to yesterday's mid-year economic and fiscal outlook.

Treasurer Joe Hockey revealed a budget deficit of $123 billion over four years due to what he called "wasteful spending" by the previous Labor government.

"Spending reform will inevitably require difficult choices about the policies that Australians need now and in the years to come," he said.

"Australians will have to adjust their expectations of what government can sustainably provide otherwise our nation's prosperity and our people's quality of life will be at risk."

Despite the dire declaration, Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane said the Toowoomba bypass remained funded.

"The Coalition's commitment to the Toowoomba bypass has been reaffirmed in today's mid-year economic and fiscal outlook," he said.

"The Toowoomba second range crossing has been listed as one of the Coalition's key infrastructure priorities, along with other significant projects in capital cities.


"The Coalition has a long-standing commitment to build the second range crossing, with $700 million to get the project started.

"The Government will continue to update the people of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs on the progress of the project in the weeks ahead and leading up to the May 2014 budget."

Funding for the $1.66 billion project - still an estimated figure at this stage - will also come from a $342 million injection by the State Government.

The $618 million shortfall will come from private sources, likely to be recouped through tolls for heavy vehicles.

A call for tenders will be made in the near future with French-based Bouygues Construction expected to be among the bidders.

The Federal funding will come from a $34.5 billion land transport infrastructure kitty under the Auslink program.

It will spend $50 million in 2015-16 and a further $80 million in 2016-17, with the rest to follow in the next term of government - assuming the LNP wins a second term or its replacement honours the existing arrangements.

EARLIER:*The Federal Government has confirmed an extra $8.2 billion will be spent on land transport infrastructure over six years, including the Toowoomba bypass.

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook announcement has not strictly stated how much would be spent on the bypass, though previous commitments of $700 million in federal funding are expected to be honoured.

"This Government will provide an additional $8.2 billion over six years, bringing the total land transport infrastructure investment from 2013‑14 to 2018‑19 to $34.5 billion," the document states.

"Significant projects being funded under the Auslink Programme to meet the Government's election commitments include East-West Link in Melbourne, WestConnex in Sydney, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail.

"These projects will help to alleviate congestion in our cities, link our regions, improve safety across our road network and underpin business productivity."

EARLIER:*ALL eyes will be on Canberra when the Federal Government announces its mid-year fiscal outlook today, hopefully including funds for the Toowoomba bypass.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned big cuts would be included in the announcement due to a combined budget deficit of $120 billion over four years - with about a $50 billion blow-out over 2013/14 alone.

Treasurer Joe Hockey is expected to give notice of widespread funding reductions to rein in what he claims has been an irresponsible spending spree by Labor.

Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane told the Toowoomba business community three weeks ago that a big announcement was coming for the Toowoomba Bypass.

Speaking to a breakfast of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he hinted that the Federal Government's promised $700 million funding for the project would be announced today.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 01:36 PM   #20
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surprising, thought it would have been cut
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