Toowoomba Range to close for repairs

The Toowoomba Range in Queensland will close this week as part of four months of major road upgrades

March 14, 2011

The Toowoomba Range in Queensland will be closed this week as major works begin on the road to repair the damage from severe flooding earlier this year.

Works will be carried out over four months to reinforce embankments and shoulders eroded in the flood.

Queensland Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace says excavation works are planned over two nights from March 15.

"This means both down lanes will be closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights this week, between 7pm to 5am," he says.

"As a result, the Range will operate under changed traffic conditions - one lane in each direction using the up lanes carriageway, from the 'saddle' to the top of the range."

Wallace has urged motorists to drive cautiously and follow instructions when travelling through the road works.

Meanwhile, Premier Anna Bligh says the Toowoomba rail line is due to reopen on March 28.

"This will take trucks off the road and put freight back on trains and that will be welcomed by residents," she says.

Bligh says fixing the flood-damaged line involved repairs to more than 260 sites since January 10.

She says flooding and Cyclone Yasi caused about 3,800km of the Queensland Rail network to close. Bligh says the western and south-western lines are the last major pieces of the network that remain closed.

"Each week about 100 trains carrying nearly 200,000 tonnes of freight travel from south-western Queensland over the Toowoomba Range to primary industry processors, the Port of Brisbane, and other markets," Bligh says.

"The reopening of the western and south-western lines will reconnect vital trains carrying coal, grain, livestock and general freight to and from towns all the way out to Quilpie and Dirranbandi."

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