Here is a fly-through made of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing to show its route up the range and around the city’s north. The new 41 km route will improve freight times and costs for the increasing truck traffic heading west from Brisbane towards the Darling Downs and further west into the rest of Queensland. It will also considerably reduce the truck traffic, which currently passes straight through the centre of the city.
Here are the kinds of loads currently using the city’s streets:
The new road is now being built, with an expected completion date sometime in 2018. The final cost of the project is, therefore still uncertain. There are fears in the trucking industry the operator of the new road will set the toll levels for freight traffic at a level which will swallow up any savings made from the improved access to the West.
In a recent interview with the local Toowoomba newspaper, The Chronicle, Queensland Trucking Association CEO, Peter Garske, welcomed the prospect of a new crossing, which will be more productive and efficient than the current situation. He was also pleased with the decision to replace the originally planned tunnel with a 30 metre cutting, allowing large loads and dangerous goods to use the new route.
When asked about possible toll prices, Garske was of the view the new operator should not get too greedy and suggested a toll below $20 for each truck would enable transport operators to make cost savings, as well as ensuring trucks didn’t continue to use the Central Toowoomba route to save money.
Now, here for all of you nostalgia nuts, is a video of a V8 Mack Superliner hauling up the old range, as it was before its recent revamp: