By Jeremy Sollars
A new traffic bypass planned for the eastern side of Warwick is being touted as improving road safety and access to farming areas for heavy vehicles including B-Doubles.
The Southern Downs Regional Council says a Federal Government grant of $395,000 will upgrade 2.6km of roads and intersections and is expected to be completed in April 2020.
A council spokesman this week said design work was being done “from the East Street/Ogilvie Road Intersection, east along Ogilvie Road to the intersection with Freestone Road, and then south along Depot Road to the Warwick-Yangan Road, including all above intersections”.
“The upgrades will create a bitumen two-lane roadway.
“Preliminary design works have commenced and works are expected to be completed by end of April 2020.”
A ‘concept approval’ document prepared by council officers states the project “will commence the opening up of B double access to the farming communities that range from the Cunningham Highway to the Condamine River, taking in localities such as Junabee, Emu Vale, Tannymorel, Swanfels, and Freestone”.
“This will allow for more freight and the efficient movement of stock and grain,” the document states.
“The background stems from community engagement with stakeholders on the 15 February 2017 (when) the Mayor held a workshop to discuss with industry the requirements to be able to get better B Double access into our region.
“Currently one of the largest deficiencies is B Double access from the Cunningham Highway near Warwick via Warwick Yangan and Freestone Road, which are all under jurisdiction of Main Roads.
“This project is about preparing a concept, planning, design, and some construction for a route from the Caltex service station on the Cunningham Highway through to Freestone Road and Warwick Yangan Road.
“To also be considered as part of this project is the proposed solar farm in East Street and development conditions requiring the upgrade of the East Street to bitumen standard.
“Also Council currently has a betterment project in with NDRRA (Federal Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements) awaiting approval for upgrade of Depot Road.
“A significant choice of the route will include liaison with Main Roads about their requirements and also the running of B Doubles past housing developments.
“The preferred concept will be route using Depot Road, Freestone Road, Robinson Road and East Street.
“The Caltex service station has already been designed for B Doubles and from there to Warwick Yangan Road will have the least impact on residential houses.
“As a Council we are conscious that our horticultural, agricultural and livestock industries are growing and that greater and more frequent access will be required; and we want to ensure that all parties are in agreement on what has to be done.”