Funding secured for new Warwick bypass, truckies to benefit
A NEW bypass for heavy vehicles will help improve road safety and access to industrial business according to Warwick transport industry expert Mark Collins.
Funding to seal and widen roads in Warwick has been secured in an ongoing push by Southern Downs Regional Council to improve the region's heavy vehicle access.
A federal government grant of $395,000 will improve 2.6 kilometres of road and upgrade intersections at East St, Ogilvie Rd and Depot Rd.
The works are an initial step to creating a complete B-double route and bypass for heavy vehicles around the Warwick town centre according to Frasers Livestock Transport fleet manager Mark Collins.
"For a B-double to come through town at the moment you have to come down Albion St and then head west along Wood St,” Mr Collins said. "It's a long way to have to get to the industrial estate.”
Mr Collins said a bypass around the southeast side of Warwick could help support changes in vehicle routes as a result of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.
"Most of the traffic coming out of Warwick will be heading south and join the New England Highway and there will be a reduction in traffic heading west out of Warwick,” Mr Collins said.
But he said the changes were unlikely to have a major impact on the town's economy.
"Most of these B-doubles don't spend much money town because there is nowhere to pull up,” he said.
"We're never going to have enough roads for B-Doubles.”
Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie said making roads fit for heavy vehicles had been an ongoing focus of the council.
"Any time there are grants going we put in an application and one of the things we are focused on is trying to progress our heavy vehicle access across the region,” Cr Dobie said.
She said improving heavy vehicle access was an investment in the economy.
"It is a goal of this council to have as much road into our rural areas suitable for heavy vehicles that can provide support to our industrial businesses,” she said.
Funding to support the project was recently secured under the federal government Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.
The project will cost $790,000 in total, with joint funding from Southern Downs Regional Council.
The HVSPP program was developed in 2013 to support infrastructure projects that improve productivity and safety outcomes of heavy vehicle operations across Australia.
Under the program, $368 million will be provided until 2022, with an on-going commitment of $40 million each year following
A SDRC spokesman said the council was placing the project into its capital works program and expected it to be complete by the end of April 2020.