Ipswich stretch of major hwy to get $320m upgrade

AN 85 kilometre stretch of the Warrego Highway between Dinmore and Helidon will benefit from Budget allocations.

Federal member for Wright Scott Buchholz said the highway was highlighted in the Budget due to its unusual number of crashes.

"The number of serious crashes on this section of the Warrego Highway is above that of the national average on a modern highway," he said.

Funding will go towards widening pavements, intersection safety upgrades, lane duplications and additional overtaking lanes on the Warrego Highway.

Catherine Kelsa said an overpass at the Warrego Hwy and Forest Hill-Fernvale Rd would
Catherine Kelsa said an overpass at the Warrego Hwy and Forest Hill-Fernvale Rd would "kill" business. Ebony Graveur

Meaning to Stop coffee shop stands on the corner of Forest Hill-Fernvale Rd and the Warrego Hwy.

Owner Tracey Andrews travelled to and from the cafe from her home in Plainland six days a week before cutting back to six days a fortnight.

She said the entire stretch of road was problematic, noting the functionality of the Forest Hill-Fernvale Rd and highway intersection in particular.

"I've seen emergency vehicles - fire trucks especially - waiting to be able to get across the highway because nobody slows down," she said.

"The speed limit needs to be dropped."

She said the Gatton bypass was "shocking" and it also needed to change.

"I would prefer to go through Gatton and out through the back of Grantham," she said.

"I'd rather go the back way than drive on that Gatton bypass."

She cited blind spots as a cause for concern.

"I don't drive on it if I don't have to for that simple reason that there are blind corners."

Co-owner Catherine Kelsa said an overpass would be detrimental to the shop.

"It would kill business if it were to bypass us," she said.

"If we lost that main traffic, we'd just be totally going on locals."

Gatton Police Officer-in-Charge Senior Sergeant Rowland Browne said he welcomed any upgrades to the road.

"Anything that improves the Warrego Hwy is always welcome," Sen-Sgt Browne said.

As part of the government's national initiative Roads of Strategic Importance, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg allocated $320 million for Warrego Highway upgrades, with projects to take place between Ipswich and Toowoomba.

Reaching from the end of the Ipswich Motorway and ending in Charleville, the Warrego Highway stretches 796km across southern Queensland.



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