Nexus will construct $1.6b Toowoomba bypass with 75% local workers

Ink is dry on Range bypass contract.

THE State Government, the Nexus consortium and the Federal Government have put pen to paper to sign a contract on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

Minister for Industry and Science Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane and Queensland Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey at the signing of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

The contract means Nexus has a contractual obligation to deliver the A$1.6 billion bypass.

The signing was an example of political bipartisanship with the Labor State Government signing a deal with the Liberal Federal Government.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, Queensland Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey and Nexus chairman John Witheriff signed the documents this morning at Rotary Park at the top of the Range, officially sealing the deal on the bypass.

Speeches given during the signing were inaudible because of  noise from passing trucks, an irony that wasn’t lost on those present.

Mr Witheriff said the consortium’s successful bid included a commitment to support local employment and the local supply chain.

He said 75% of workers employed on the project would be locals.

Queensland Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey said works would begin before Christmas.

Nexus says construction will be complete in late 2018.

The consortium will then operate and maintain the road for 25 years.

Mr Bailey said the toll price for the road would be announced closer to the opening of the project.

He said the project would include a separated connection to Mort St.

“This will particularly benefit freight operators who need to travel in and out of Toowoomba,” he said.

“The final design will also see two lanes built each way from the Warrego Highway East Interchange to Warrego Highway West and grade separated interchanges at Warrego Highway West, Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Road and the Gore Highway.

“A 30-metre deep cutting at the top of the range will also be built as an alternative to a tunnel proposal, enabling safer travel for all heavy vehicles, including ones carrying dangerous goods.”

The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing will be delivered as a Public Private Partnership, with the Queensland Government contributing up to $321 million towards the project.

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