By Jess Baker
Works on a new overpass at the Eight Mile intersection, where the Cunningham and New England highways meet just north of Warwick, have recommenced following a temporary halt last month.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport and Main (TMR) roads said heavy rainfall in late March and early April caused wet conditions and flooding at the site, which delayed construction.
“After Easter, the site required some areas to be restored before continuing with upgrade works and overpass construction,” said the spokesperson.
“Due to the interruption, works on the overpass have been delayed and the intersection upgrade is now scheduled to be completed in April 2022, weather and construction conditions permitting.”
The $25 million project commenced on 22 February 2021, just weeks before the heavy rain hit in March, with an original expected completion date for construction of February 2022.
“The swift response from the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Service helped works restart as soon as weather and safety conditions permitted,” said a TMR spokesperson.
As well as a single-lane overpass for traffic travelling south from Toowoomba to Warwick, the project includes two new culvert structures for site drainage, new lighting and improvements to existing lighting, and a traffic monitoring camera.
Other traffic movements at the intersection will continue at ground level, with upgrades to improve safety and efficiency.
The project, jointly funded by the Australian government and the Queensland government, is intended to provide a long-term solution to the intersection which has seen numerous fatalities and near-misses over the years.
Other benefits to the project, as declared by TMR, will include improved network efficiency, an increase in capacity and traffic flow, and a reduction in maintenance and travel time.
A TMR spokesperson said traffic management while the works are being completed will, at times, “include road shoulder and lane closures and some minor diversions through the intersection, resulting in occasional delays for motorists”.
Drivers can also expect delays on the Cunningham Highway at the Goomburra Road and Gladfield Back Road intersection over coming weeks, said a TMR spokesperson.
“The Department of Transport and Main Roads will be undertaking road widening and drainage works at the intersection 25 kilometres east of Warwick from early May to mid-June 2021, weather permitting,” said the spokesperson.
“The intersection’s crash history will be addressed by installing dedicated turning lanes, improved signage and other safety features such as extra guide posts and reflective pavement markers.”
Works at both the Eight Mile intersection and the Goomburra Road and Gladfield Back Road intersection will be undertaken between 6.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday, with a reduced speed limit of 40 kilometres per hour.