Thursday 22 December 2011

A National Disgrace | Not fit for a 3rd world country

RACQ slams Bruce Highway

Nick Dalton
Thursday, December 22, 2011
© The Cairns Post

THE Bruce Highway between Cairns and Townsville will continue to flood and there are still sections of high crash risk, according to a report released yesterday.

Motoring body, the RACQ, called for urgent works to improve the region’s main highway from the south to stop flooding during the wet season and to improve black spots.

The report details assessments made by the RACQ’s road safety engineers, who drove the length of the Bruce Highway from Cairns to Brisbane as part of the motoring club’s annual regional road tours program and calls for:
  • Additional southern lanes into Cairns and duplication of the Edmonton to Gordonvale stretch to reduce congestion.
  • Higher level bridges and approaches to Cattle and Frances creeks and the Gairloch floodway to Ripple Creek.
  • Reducing the number of intersections with direct access to the Bruce Highway to improve safety.
RACQ senior traffic and safety engineer Greg Miszkowycz said flooding was still an issue on the highway, despite this year’s repairs and reconstruction works with natural disaster relief money. "The disaster relief funding has provided an opportunity to reconstruct the highway and improve resilience to future flood damage," he said. "But the funding does not extend to raising the level of the roadway, which means parts of the Bruce Highway are likely to be cut or flood damaged again, as early as this summer."

The report revealed sections of the highway were still of substandard design with narrow lanes and shoulders, a lack of overtaking lanes and dangerous roadside objects posing a serious risk to motorists.

The damning report comes as the State Government released a 20-year plan to upgrade the national highway. Local Government Minister Paul Lucas was in Cairns to launch the Bruce Highway Upgrade strategy yesterday, saying the ultimate goal was for the highway to have four lanes between Cairns and Gympie.

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My Opinion

When it comes to forwarded planning, ienquiries and process no government does it better than the Queensland government. Sadly though most of these governments instruments that require direct State Government action for one reason or another remain unfunded.

Due to Government priorities, regional road infrastructure funding does not receive the funding that growth demands. If Government policy encourages growth then there should be adequate funding to ensure that infrastructure does not lag behind.

The maxim that 'the squeaky door gets the oil' is apt when it comes to Government funding. While the Beattie Government was excellent at public relations it allowed infrastructure to go neglected for 10years.

The Bligh Government aware of this neglect is pouring 'billions'  into the south east corner road works. This is fine but do not neglect regional Queensland which is currently the case.

The political scene is ready for the picking and the LNP/ Campbell is tapping into this disquiet.

Ross Parisi

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