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TMR issues Toowoomba Bypass lane closure alert

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The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is implementing a full range closure of the two eastbound lanes between Charlton and Helidon on the Toowoomba Bypass tomorrow, December 9.

Weather permitting, the lanes will be closed to all traffic from 5am to 7pm.

The closure is required so that Nexus Operations can undertake emergency embankment works for the continued safe operation of the Toowoomba Bypass, said the TMR.

During the closure, eastbound traffic, including heavy vehicles, will detour through Toowoomba.

Heavy vehicles travelling eastbound will need to detour on the same routes used before the bypass was built.

Drivers with vehicles larger than a B-double will be required to breakdown their vehicle combination at Charlton before travelling through Toowoomba.

The exception to that rule are PBS 2B vehicles, which will be permitted to travel through Toowoomba with combinations in place.

Transport and Main Roads Southern Queensland regional director Bill Lansbury said while the bypass was not damaged, sections of shotcrete batter protection had dislodged during the recent wet weather.

“Our contractor Nexus noticed movement in the batter protection on Friday and immediately closed an eastbound lane as a precautionary measure,” Lansbury said.

“Geotechnical experts have inspected the site to ensure its safety.

“The movement is due to a build-up of water in the natural material sitting behind the shotcrete.

“Nexus was on site and able to respond immediately, with the public’s safety the highest priority.”

Nexus Infrastructure’s CEO James Thewlis said it planned to start the preliminary stages of the complicated removal works today.

“Because of the height and steepness of this cutting, we plan to excavate behind the damaged shotcrete before breaking it up into smaller pieces which are easier to remove,” Thewlis said.

“We are taking the highly cautious approach of closing both eastbound lanes while carrying out the works, in the unlikely event the material dislodges and slides downhill further.”

Lansbury said the safety of motorists and road workers was the department’s top priority.

“We know how much this short closure will impact the heavy vehicle industry and the Toowoomba community and ask for their patience while the works are carried out,” he said.

“This is going to be a long, wet summer and I ask all Queenslanders to drive to the conditions, obey all signs and instructions from our hard-working traffic controllers, and of course, if it’s flooded – forget it.”

All westbound traffic will operate as usual, with some minor restrictions.

For the most up-to-date information on road conditions and closures, visit the QLDTraffic website at www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au, call 13 19 40 or download the QLDTraffic app.

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