The Queensland and Federal Governments have invested an additional $44 million in the Warrego Highway upgrade program for the construction of eight new overtaking lanes between Dalby and Oakey in Queensland’s Darling Downs region.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said Federal funding of up to $35.12 million had been approved for the project, with the Queensland Government contributing up to $8.78 million.

“These new overtaking lanes will improve driver safety and haulage efficiency and benefit all users of the highway, including road freight operators and tourists who underpin much of the region’s economy,” Mr Chester said.

“The funding is being drawn from the $635 million jointly committed by the Australian and Queensland governments to upgrade the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Miles, and is part of our commitment to reduce road trauma across Australia.

“Duplication of major highways, installation of road safety barriers, widening road shoulders, better lighting, tactile line marking, improved signage and increasing the number of rest areas are all strategies currently being rolled out through various local, state and federal initiatives.”

Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey, said work on the Dalby to Oakey Overtaking Lanes project was expected to begin in January 2017 and be completed by late 2017.

“This project will involve constructing east and west-bound overtaking lanes at four locations on the Dalby to Oakey stretch,” Mr Bailey said.

“Drivers will be able to overtake slower vehicles much safer than is currently provided for on those stretches of the Warrego.

“Once the project is completed, travel times and the number of serious crashes recorded between Dalby and Oakey are expected to fall significantly, which is great news for road safety in the region.”

Federal Member for Groom, John McVeigh, said the new overtaking lanes were part of a larger package of enabling infrastructure which will boost the region’s economy.

“This region is the envy of much of regional Australia due to the amount of infrastructure growth we are experiencing. The Federal Government is helping facilitate the region’s growth by investing in key projects that will boost our economy,” Dr McVeigh said.

“I am working with all levels of government to ensure investment occurs in the right projects so we can leverage every opportunity that comes our way.

“We need to plan and build now to capitalise on these projects to ensure future supply chains are in place when they are needed.”

Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, said the highway upgrade provided a major increase to connectivity and economic growth in his electorate.

“The Warrego is a vital highway network in the Maranoa and this Coalition Government commitment not only increases road safety but also strengthens the transport network for locals and the agricultural, tourism and the resources industries,” Mr Littleproud said.

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