PICS: Toowoomba celebrates opening of $1.6b bypass
AFTER being a dream for more than 50 years, the Toowoomba Bypass finally opened to motorists last night.
"We have just opened the eighth wonder of the modern world, indeed it truly is," Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said.
"This is an engineering masterpiece. It's an architectural masterpiece.
"It's been brought to the public, to the nation, via Australian hard work, Australian sweat, Australian engineering ingenuity. This is a masterpiece in design."
Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the viaduct on the bypass, which will be known as the Multuggerah Viaduct, was unlike anything else in Australia.
"This viaduct here looks a lot like a viaduct somewhere in the European Alps," Mr Bailey said.
"It doesn't look like anything in Queensland or indeed Australia.
So for the first time, we've seen something so astonishingly breathtaking in design and architecture. It's a great credit to everybody involved."
Thousands of people attended a bike ride, marathon and community open day at the weekend to celebrate the opening.
The Toowoomba Bypass connects the Warrego Highway at Helidon to the Gore Highway at Athol.
The road is known as the Warrego Highway between Helidon and Cranley, and then the Gore Highway from there to Athol.
The old range is now known as the Toowoomba Connection Road. There will be no toll for the first three months.