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Work underway on $8.4 million federally-funded Gatton Bypass duplication.

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23 May 2002 B47/2002


Work has commenced on the first section of the federally-funded duplication of the Gatton Bypass, the last remaining two-lane section of the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Brisbane.

The Federal Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, National Party Senator Ron Boswell, and the Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Steve Bredhauer, announced today that the $8.4 million contract to duplicate the middle 10km section of the bypass had been awarded to Stockport (NQ) Pty Ltd.

This is the first of three "packages" that will complete the duplication of the bypass by the end of next year.

"Following the completion of the Marburg bypass duplication last year, this project will extend continuous four-lane divided highway over the entire 140 kilometres of the Warrego Highway between Brisbane and Toowoomba,'' Senator Boswell said.

"The four-laning of the 20km Gatton bypass, with the associated interchanges, bridges and road crossings, will improve safety dramatically and provide essential infrastructure underpinning this regional economy."

"There have been 18 deaths recorded from 126 crashes on the existing two-lane bypass since it opened to traffic in November 1989."

"While the rate of crashes on the Gatton bypass is roughly the same as the adjoining four-lane sections, the rate of fatal accidents on the two-lane bypass is higher.''

Mr Bredhauer said the duplication project had been split into three packages - the middle 10km section, and 5km sections at the eastern and western ends.

"Splitting the project into three packages has allowed us to make an early start to construction," Mr Bredhauer said.

Stockport's contract starts about 1km west of the Adare Road overpass and extends west to Sandy Creek bridge.

Mr Bredhauer said: "This section of the project involves duplicating the middle 10km section, including bridges at Sandy Creek, Philps Road and Smithfield Road."

"The two additional lanes will be built on the northern side of the existing carriageway."

"The bridge over Sandy Creek, which will carry Brisbane-bound traffic, is the largest structure in the whole project, incorporating five spans over 109 metres."

Senator Boswell said the remaining two packages involved significant structures as well as the additional lanes.

"The package at the eastern end involves a major new interchange," he said. " It will reconfigure the intersections of the Gatton-Helidon Road and the Gatton-Esk Road with the Warrego Highway."

"The new layout is likely to feature an elevated interchange with ramps and flyovers, although the exact configuration is yet to be designed."

"The package at the Helidon end also includes a new rail overpass bridge and modifications to the existing western interchange."

Mr Bredhauer said tenders for the package at the eastern end had been called on the design-and-construct method. This is where the one firm is awarded the tender to both design and then construct the project.

"The package at the western end is being built using a different method, where tenders are called separately for the design and construction elements of the process," he said.

"We have already awarded the contract to design the western end of the duplication to Toowoomba firm Farr Evrat Engineers. We plan to call tenders for construction in June, once the design is completed."

Construction of the packages at both the eastern and western ends is scheduled to start in September.

The complete duplication is expected to be finished and operating by December 2003.

Media contacts: Paul Leven, Senator Boswell's Office 07 3001 8150   Louise Foley (Minister Bredhauer's office) 07 3235 4826