The Australian Government has committed a total of $13.52 million to co-fund the $16.9 million Warrego Highway–West Creek and East Creek Culvert Upgrades, to better flood-proof Toowoomba’s central business district, in partnership with the Queensland Government.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the investment would keep the road open during wet weather, and improve protection against flooding during more serious rain events.
“Gone will be the days where motorists are significantly affected by floodwaters in these locations, thanks to culvert upgrades over these two creeks,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Member for Groom, John McVeigh, has been a strong advocate for this upgrade, and I am pleased that we’re back here today and able to deliver practical solutions to the road’s flood immunity problems.”
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said the upgraded culverts would help guard against one-in-100-year flood events, and further improve the flow of the creeks from works that have already been completed upstream.
“We all know what an impact the 2011 floods had throughout Toowoomba’s CBD, and I am pleased we are working together to better protect the city in the future,” Mr Bailey said.
Federal Member for Groom, John McVeigh, said Toowoomba Regional Council was to be congratulated for the work it had already completed to better protect Toowoomba’s CBD from flooding.
“Keeping James Street safe and accessible during heavy rain is a very important investment in keeping our community connected in times of crisis as we saw back in 2011,” Dr McVeigh said.
“The upgrade to culverts on James Street, at Kitchener Street and beside the PCYC are the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle, and will complete Toowoomba’s major overhaul of flood mitigation measures throughout the city.”
Queensland Assistant Minister for Treasury and Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher, said the Department of Transport and Main Roads had done a lot of legwork in terms of upgrade planning and associated works to prepare for the culvert upgrades.
“Between 16,000 and 21,900 vehicles use these parts of the highway on an average day, and close to a quarter are heavy vehicles, so the number of locals standing to benefit from a safer and more accessible road is significant,” Mr Butcher said.
Construction is expected to start by mid-2019 and be completed by late 2020.