Designs for U-turn loops on both sides of the Postmans Ridge Road intersection on the Warrego Highway are being developed to ensure continued accessibility after the construction of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing in South East Queensland.
The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing is a $1.6 billion project to build a 41km route that bypasses Toowoomba on its northern side, taking heavy vehicle traffic around the city instead of through it.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the merging of traffic at the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing interchange with the Warrego Highway meant that right turning traffic at the nearby Postmans Ridge Road posed a serious safety risk.
“The intersection between Postmans Ridge Road and the Warrego Highway already has a long crash history. Sadly, three lives were lost at the intersection in September 2015. The re-design of this intersection as part of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project will actually go a long way to improving safety,” Mr Chester said.
“The intersection plan involves building a U-turn loop, allowing westbound traffic to exit the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa and travel on the loop road to rejoin the Warrego Highway eastbound before turning left into Postmans Ridge Road or continuing on towards Brisbane.”
Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety, Mark Bailey, said this would minimise inconvenience for local drivers by allowing access to and from Postmans Ridge Road.
“A key part of this process was consultation with local residents, businesses and the local council to ensure the best solution for the community after the completion of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing in late-2018,” Mr Bailey said.
“Another U-turn loop for eastbound Warrego Highway traffic will also mean access remains open to Twidales Road. This is a great outcome for the local community that will improve safety while also ensuring accessibility.”
Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz, said the design would also help businesses on Twidales Road.
“Businesses like Emu Gully Adventure Camp, Whylaway Kennels and Helidon Mineral Spa Resort all rely on this access for their customers from Toowoomba and elsewhere to the west,” Mr Buchholz said.
“The closure of the current turn arrangements for Postmans Ridge Road and Twidales Road through the central median will not occur until 2018, and only after the community has been given notice and advice.”
The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project is being funded on an 80:20 basis by the Australian and Queensland Governments.