WORK has begun to create direct access between Toowoomba and the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

Construction for the Mort St realignment, the Mort St interchange and a new 230m bridge over Gowrie Creek will begin this month.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the work was a milestone for the crossing and would provide the most direct connection to the CBD. It is 6km to City Hall.

"The Mort St interchange will be complemented by another connection at Boundary St to provide heavy vehicles with access to the fast growing industrial areas on the western side of the city," he said.

Second Range Crossing, announcing commencement of works on the Mort Street access road, on the corner of Mort Street and Burnview Avenue. From left; John McVeigh MP Member for Groom, TRC mayor Paul Antonio, Darren Chester Mp Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. November 11, 2016
Second Range Crossing, announcing commencement of works on the Mort Street access road, on the corner of Mort Street and Burnview Avenue. From left; John McVeigh MP Member for Groom, TRC mayor Paul Antonio, Darren Chester Mp Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. November 11, 2016 Bev Lacey

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio estimated council's contribution to the interchange at about $25 million.

"We need to have that connectivity. Why would you have a bypass going past and you didn't have that connectivity to get people into town?"

Cr Antonio said they were spending the money to dramatically upgrade Mort St, from the Jellicoe St and West St intersection to provide a connection to the crossing.

Member for Groom John McVeigh said when the enabling works were finished, traffic would be switched on to the new section of Mort St, allowing the next stage of works to begin.

The Mort St interchange and Gowrie Creek bridge early works are expected to be completed in mid 2017, weather permitting. The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing is due to be open by late 2018.



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