Work starts on much needed Gatton road train facility
WORK on the new Gatton heavy vehicle decoupling facility is well underway on the Warrego Highway.
The new facility will replace a temporary holding bay further down the road towards College View, where trucks can only leave their trailers for a maximum of two hours.
But one local leader has expressed their disappointment with the location that the government chose to build the site.
Member for Lockyer Jim McDonald told the Gatton Star he was "really disappointed" the government made the decision to remove good quality agricultural land to build the new pad.
"Myself, (along) with the council had identified other opportunities," Mr McDonald said.
Mr McDonald said the $19 million was however a welcome investment in the region.
He added that given that the site is at the entrance to the Gatton township, he will be working closely to monitor the landscaping and entrance aspects.
Currently all type 1 road trains must conform to comply as B-doubles before continuing to travel east of the transfer facility at Gatton.
A two-hour time limit however applies to all trailers and combinations for both sides of the transfer facility, with drivers complaining that a second truck is needed to take the other trailer as they can't do the round trip to Brisbane in time.
The transport department said it was an important project that was underway as the existing facility was regarded as being unsatisfactory.
Truck drivers claimed there were issues regarding the visibility of other motorists when exiting and the limited time available to park at the temporary site.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said in June the new development would allow for a much more efficient process for trucks to reconfigure before travelling east or west.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport and Main Roads said the $19 million Gatton Heavy Vehicle Decoupling Facility was funded as part of the Toowoomba bypass project.
In a statement, the spokesperson said the facility will improve efficiency for heavy vehicles travelling to and from the Port of Brisbane.
It will also reduce the running costs for the transport industry as heavy vehicles will only need to traverse the range crossing once.
The facility located off the Gatton-Esk Road and Warrego Highway is expected to be completed by late March 2021, subject to weather conditions.