The LNP’s plan for the Warrego Hwy if they win
THE Liberal National Party is taking many Warrego Highway upgrades to the state election, but major duplication projects west of Toowoomba could be years away.
Part of the LNP’s policy platform is a bold plan to bring the Bruce Highway up to four lanes in it’s entirety, between Gympie and Cairns within 15 years.
These single-laned parts of the Bruce Hwy can carry over 11,000 vehicles per day on average, and as few as 2300, according to the Queensland traffic census of 2019.
Some sections of the Bruce Hwy carry low volumes of traffic, including the ‘Marlborough stretch’ between Rockhampton and Sarina which has as few as 2300 vehicles per day.
Gin Gin to Miriam Vale carries over 3400 vehicles per day on average, Bowen to Proserpine, 4000, and Childers to Gin Gin, 2900.
News Corp asked the LNP if they have any plans to double-lane sections of the Warrego Highway with over 2300 vehicles per day, but have not announced any plans, nor have they rejected the proposal.
Sections that were asked about included the Toowoomba to Dalby stretch, which carries as few as 5809 vehicles per day, Dalby to Chinchilla, as few as 2538, and Chinchilla to Miles, 2388.
There have been plans to bring the Warrego Highway up to four lanes between Dalby and Toowoomba since at least 2012, with initial planning for Kingsthorpe to Oakey being completed in 2019.
LNP’s plan for the Warrego
Despite no word on whether the LNP plans to progress the Toowoomba to Dalby duplications, there are a number of other projects they have on the table.
This includes the long-awaited upgrade of the Dinmore to Helidon Spa stretch to motorway standard.
“The LNP has already announced plans to upgrade the highway between Ipswich and Toowoomba to provide a safer road for local families and create more local jobs in construction, and we will work in partnership with the Federal Government to prioritise further upgrades to the highway,” an LNP spokesman said.
“Our plan to invest for growth and build a stronger economy means more investment in road upgrades.
“Approving projects like the New Acland mine near Oakey will provide $7 billion to our economy and more royalties to invest in regional roads.
“In government, the LNP kickstarted a major $635 million program to upgrade the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Miles.”
Also included are a number of interim safety upgrades championed by Lockyer MP Jim McDonald, and said 53 people have died in Warrego Highway collisions between Minden and Withcott between 2001 and 2018.
These intersections include Fairway Drive, Summerhold Road and Niemeyer Road at Hatton Vale.
“People take their lives in their hands when they cross the Warrego Highway,” the former cop said.
“The rising volume of traffic on the Warrego Highway has made its intersections highly dangerous, so these safety upgrades are desperately needed.
“I’ve been calling on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to step up and invest in this road, but they have ignored the problem and refused to work with the Commonwealth.”
Other projects in the Lockyer Valley announced by the LNP include pedestrian and intersection projects on Toowoomba Connection Road at Withcott.
Warrego MP Ann Leahy has also laid out a number of initiatives she wishes to fight for west of the range.
This comes after the recent completion of the Warrego Highway Upgrade Program, which led to a number of upgrades to the Oakey to Miles stretch including overtaking lanes, township upgrades in the Western Downs, and wide centre lines.
“There is still more to be done on the Warrego Highway and the LNP and I have plans to make it safer and easier to travel,” Ms Leahy said.
“Painting the speed zones on the road surface along Warrego Highway is one of my priorities for the Warrego Highway.
“There are frequent speed zone changes along the Highway, for instance some areas are 110km/h, some 100km/h.
“Some towns like Morven are 50km/h, Mitchell and Roma 60km/h with school zones 40km/h, Drillham 70km/h and Yuleba and Jondaryan 80km/h, and two rail crossings between Chinchilla and Miles reduced to 80km/h.
“Painting the speed zone on the road is a simple and cost-effective way to inform road users of the speed zones which they are entering or leaving.
“With signs being damaged or missing, this on the road signage means motorists can check their speed and ensure they are driving within the speed limit as the zones change.”
Ms Leahy said the LNP plans on increasing the speed limit from Dalby to Chinchilla back to 110km/h now that safety upgrades and overtaking lanes have been completed.
Other projects she would like to see in the southwest include:
- Raising the speed limit on the Carnarvon Highway between Surat and St George to 110km/h
- Safety upgrades to the Main Street and Landsborough Highway at Augathella
- Widening the Meandarra - Talwood Road
- Widening the Mitchell - St George Road
- Replace the Womalilla Bridge on the Mitchell - St George Road
- Widen the Jackson - Wandoan Road
- Continuing the Warri Gate Road sealing
- Widening the Condamine Highway
- Widening the Charleville to Wyandra section of the Mitchell Highway