DRIVING FORCE: Southern Downs MP Lawrence Springborg at the Southern Bypass.
DRIVING FORCE: Southern Downs MP Lawrence Springborg at the Southern Bypass. Liana Turner

Upgrade tipped to make deadly bypass safer

WHEN called to an incident at Stanthorpe's Southern Bypass, emergency services personnel brace for the worst.

The chequered history of the intersection, where Wallangarra Rd meets the New England Hwy, has prompted many calls for an upgrade. State MP for the Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg has welcomed the news the deadly intersection will be upgraded.

Mr Springborg said he had received notice from Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey confirming $830,000 would be spent on upgrading the site as part of the Safer Roads Sooner project.

There have been at least four fatalities at the site since 2003 and Mr Springborg said the upgrade would be welcomed by many.

"I'm very grateful for it. I want to thank Minister Bailey for seeing it as a serious issue because it is a serious safety issue,” he said.

While he wasn't yet sure how the money would be spent, Mr Springborg said he expected improved safety at the intersection.

Mr Springborg hoped the community and Road Safety Advisory Committee would be strongly consulted on details of the upgrade.

Mr Bailey said the scope and timing of works were yet to be finalised with construction to take place in the first half of next year.

"This intersection has an extensive crash history and we need to make significant improvements to make it safer,” he said.

"This Safer Roads Sooner project will focus on providing low-cost, high-impact solutions at this location.  

"The scope of works is expected to be completed by early next year, with design and construction to follow soon after.”

Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie said the intersection was "notoriously dangerous” and welcomed the funding.

"It is a notoriously dangerous intersection that has seen numerous accidents over the years and absolutely needs an upgrade to improve safety for motorists, both local and those passing through our region,” Cr Dobie said.

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