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Darling Downs

Fast facts

Map of Darling Downs district 
Map of Queensland with Darling Downs District highlighted 
Area covered

79,530km2

Population of Queensland

5.78%

Data source: Queensland Government Statistician's Office (Queensland Treasury), Queensland Regional Profiles www.qgso.qld.gov.au, April 2020

4,533km

State-controlled roads*

687km

National Land Transport Network*

327,922

Vehicle and machinery inspections

7

Boating infrastructures

34

Community safety events held

8,771

Vehicle safety inspections completed

225

Bridges**

7,040

Drivers licence tests conducted

242,360

Customer face-to-face interaction

114

Priority enabled intersection

Data source: *A Road Management Information System (ARMIS), 30 June 2020
Data source: **Bridge Information System (BIS), 30 June 2020

Highlights

  • Commenced upgrading the Chinchilla Rail Crossing on the Warrego Highway between Dalby and Miles, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.
  • Identified the preferred solution for the Accommodation Creek Crossing project located on the New England Highway (Warwick–Wallangarra), south of Stanthorpe.
  • Commenced upgrading the Emu Creek Bridge on New England Highway, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments (Yarraman–Toowoomba).
  • Commenced upgrading package 4 of the Warrego Highway (Oakey–Miles) safety upgrades, which included intersection upgrade and road widening in Chinchilla, as part of the Warrego Highway Upgrade Program, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.

Toowoomba Bypass delivered

The Toowoomba Bypass is an alternative crossing over the Toowoomba Range for all vehicle types, particularly heavy vehicles, to improve freight efficiency and driver safety. The 41 kilometre bypass, previously known as the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, takes approximately 5500 vehicles daily, diverting traffic around the city centre to the north of Toowoomba.

The bypass, which was officially opened on 8 September 2019, has relieved pressure on Toowoomba’s roads and enhanced liveability for residents of the city and Withcott in the Lockyer Valley.

The Toowoomba Bypass offers truck operators more options to configure their freight movements providing increased freight efficiencies and significant cost savings along this key regional freight route. Motorists using the Warrego Highway from west of Toowoomba can avoid up to 18 sets of traffic signals and claim time savings of up to 30 minutes by using the bypass instead of travelling through the centre of Toowoomba.

The Toowoomba Bypass is a toll road, with the tolls funding the ongoing operation and maintenance costs of the road.

This project was delivered under a Public Private Partnership arrangement at a cost of $1.6 billion. This included an Australian Government contribution of $1.137 billion, with the balance funded by the Queensland Government.

Delivery of the New England Highway and North Street intersection improvements

Toowoomba drivers are experiencing less congestion on their daily commute with the completion of the New England Highway (Ruthven Street) and North Street intersection in north Toowoomba.

The intersection is a major north-south/east-west thoroughfare and connects surrounding suburbs in Toowoomba. Significant growth experienced in the surrounding suburbs has contributed to congestion at the busy intersection.

The project involved widening the road to allow for a dedicated left-turn lane and right-turn lane on the western side of North Street, and a dedicated right-turn lane added to the eastern side of North Street.

The additional turning lanes have increased the capacity of the intersection by allowing more vehicles to pass through, resulting in less congestion.

The project involved installing designated lanes for cyclists, as part of the Queensland Government's commitment to increasing active transport options across the state.

The project was delivered under the State Road Network Upgrades program and was completed in May 2020.

Continued delivery of the Warrego Highway upgrade program

The continued rollout of the $635 million Warrego Highway upgrade program of 20 projects is improving safety and freight efficiency on the Warrego Highway from Toowoomba to west of Miles.

An additional five projects were added to the original 15 projects identified, thanks to savings achieved during the delivery of the original projects.

Projects completed in 2019–20 included:

  • Oakey to Miles Safety Upgrade – Stage 2
  • Dalby to Miles Pavement Widening and Safety Upgrade
  • Drillham to Palardo Upgrade 

Benefits for motorists include:

  • overtaking lanes
  • pavement widening
  • additional pullover areas
  • intersection upgrades
  • town entry treatments 
  • wide centre line treatments.

Construction continues for the Toowoomba East and West Creek culvert upgrades. The program, funded by the Australian and Queensland governments under an 80:20 split arrangement, is expected to be completed following the delivery of the Toowoomba flood improvement projects at East and West Creeks on James Street, in late August 2020.

Lawes decoupling site

RoadTek road crews constructed two decoupling pads on the Warrego Highway near Gatton completing it prior to the opening of the Toowoomba Bypass.

The project site location was in a Fire Ant Biosecurity Zone 2 which contributed to restrictions on where the spoil materials from the site could deposited. To avoid taking the spoil outside the fire ant zone and risk contaminating the surrounding area all excavated material from the site was transported to nearby properties.

The project was scheduled for completion to align with the opening of the Toowoomba Bypass to enable the heavy vehicle operators to unhitch additional trailers before their onward journey to Brisbane.

The project also included the demolition of existing and installation of new bus stop facilities utilised by the Gatton University precinct and variations with signage, drainage, lighting, Intelligent Transport Systems, and line marking.

Two civil construction trainees where utilised on the project allowing them to complete significant modules for their Certificate in Civil Construction and Maintenance.