Major repair works on the Toowoomba Bypass are set to ramp up from now until late 2024, said Nexus Infrastructure, the contractor behind the $1.6 billion project.
Nexus Infrastructure CEO James Thewlis said following stabilisation works and a detailed engineering and design process he was pleased to be starting the reconstruction phase.
“Some works have already commenced including site establishment, clearing and excavation activities to reprofile and stabilise the cutting to the new design profile,” Thewlis said in a media statement.
“Given the challenging terrain, the repair methodology requires using a fully enclosed conveyor material transfer system that will move materials over the bypass.
“To minimise the impact to motorists, this system will be installed via a weekend closure from 5pm on Friday, June 23 to Saturday, June 24.
“Safety is our highest priority, and this material transfer system allows the team carrying out repairs to the cutting in a safe and efficient way.”
Other than this closure, with the measures already installed, Thewlis said he we was confident that the bypass will then remain open during the majority of these works.
“We expect to complete the works by late 2024, weather permitting.”
Large sections of a northern side cutting of the eastbound lane crumbled away in October last year after the busy Queensland freight route was smashed by record rainfall through summer and autumn.
Truckies were forced to breakdown at Charlton and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) redirected heavy freight traffic through the city at a significant cost to transport companies.
TMR blamed the weather and said the cost of the repairs are being met by Nexus, not the taxpayer. TMR also told Big Rigs it was more than satisfied with the work.
But Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union assistant state secretary for Queensland Jade Ingham told The Chronicle late last year that the project was plagued with safety and quality issues during the build that he blames on TMR accepting a “cheap Charlie” tender from Nexus Group.
“Neil Scales [TMR director-general] should resign immediately because the fish rots from the head and TMR needs a massive cultural change and clean out starting at the top,” he said.
At one point late last year, shipping containers filled with ballast were brought in to act as a protective barrier to prevent any rock fall impacting the traffic lanes.