How The Second Range Crossing Will Impact Toowoomba
It’s no secret that the Second Range Crossing is a pretty big deal for Toowoomba and should bring real economic and lifestyle benefits to all of us in this city and region.
The crossing has been discussed on and off since the 1960s and on Sunday 8 September 2019, it will finally open to traffic.
If you want to experience the crossing before then, Rotary’s Ride the Range will take place on Saturday 7 September, the day before the ribbon is cut. This event lets anyone cycle the new road while contributing to a good cause.
The team at RE/MAX Success will be part of the 73-kilometre bike ride, which will support our local community by raising money for charities like RACQ Life Flight, The Salvation Army and Lifeline Gatton, Emerge Toowoomba, and The Rotary Club of Toowoomba Community Fund, plus others. We’ll also be attending the Community Open day that accompanies it.
Then, the following day, we’ll be back as part of the running festival, which includes a marathon, half-marathon, 10km and 5km events (we’re attempting the 10km), which should be finished just moments before the Second Range Crossing finally opens to cars and trucks.
Why the Second Range Crossing matters
The 41km-long road cost $1.6 billion, and was jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments under a Public-Private Partnership. With two lanes in each direction (four lanes in total), it stretches from Warrego Highway eastern interchange at Helidon to the Warrego Highway western interchange at Charlton.
The new road will divert a major portion of heavy-vehicle traffic from passing through the city, relieving pressure on local roads and improving safety and travel times, while also improving day-to-day life for residents.
Constructing the new road has already brought huge economic benefits to Toowoomba and the Darling Downs region and when the traffic starts to flow, it will bring even more.
In fact, the 2012 Business Case for building the crossing forecast that the new road will result in Toowoomba’s regional productivity increasing by $2.4 billion, and improve national productivity by $3.1 billion.
Given that the road comes after the success of Wellcamp Airport and a host of other local infrastructure investments, it’s little wonder Toowoomba’s land values have continued to rise.
Second Range Crossing fast facts
The new road cuts out 18 sets of traffic lights. Its design highlights and landmarks include an 800-metre-long viaduct that crosses the existing rail line and a 30-metre deep cutting at the top of the Toowoomba Range.
The government has announced the first three months of the Second Range Crossing will be a toll-free period, to encourage everyone to use the road – including visitors to the Carnival of Flowers in late September.
When the toll free period ends in December, charges for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing will be:
- motorcycles – $1.15
- cars – $2.30
- light commercial vehicles – $5.70
- heavy vehicles – $22.85
As with other toll roads in Queensland, tolls will be electronic and collected via Linkt at Cranley, east of the Mort Street Interchange.
All heavy vehicles must use the Second Range Crossing except those with a local destination in Toowoomba, or those travelling to or from the Warwick area via the New England Highway. Buses, motorhomes and motorised caravans over 4.5 tonnes will be exempt from this rule in the hope that they continue to stop in Toowoomba and contribute to our local economy.
Ride the Range and the Community Open Day is on Saturday 7 September and the road opens to motorists on Sunday 8 September after the run and marathon.
Join us for the ride by registering at ridetherange.org.au.
And you can find out more about the crossing at tmr.qld.gov.au/TSRC.