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Toowoomba range road works on Gatton Show day anger mayor

BAD TIMING: Mayor Steve Jones has concerns about State Government repairs to the Toowoomba range this weekend.
BAD TIMING: Mayor Steve Jones has concerns about State Government repairs to the Toowoomba range this weekend. Chris Calcino

LANE closures on the Toowoomba range on the final day the Gatton Show weekend has the Lockyer Valley mayor furious.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has announced it will be closing lanes up the range on the Warrego Hwy from tomorrow, the final day of the Gatton Show.

Mayor Steve Jones said the timing would severely impact people heading west after the show. He said it would place huge pressure on the council roads which the department had encouraged heavy traffic to take instead of using the highway.

"Main Roads have left us completely in the dark on these closures and have given us virtually no time to respond and recommend alternatives," he said.

"A few days' notice is simply not good enough when this will impact people travelling home from the region's biggest event, the Gatton Show."

A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said repairs were set to be completed at night but the cold weather had affected the seal of the asphalt and was moved. "The decision to undertake these works during the day over a weekend was taken on July 10. Industry was notified the day after this decision," the spokesperson said.

"The work was previously planned to take place at night over a longer time frame but low temperatures had begun to affect the quality of the final seal, requiring the asphalt to be laid when temperatures are highest during the day. Notice was provided directly to wide load operators on July 11 and to all other transport operators, elected representatives and community members on July 14, providing ample time for them to plan their journeys around the range works."

Cr Jones said he was worried the increase in traffic on the smaller council roads used for detours could damage them.

"It's simply a reality that even though they recommend people use Murphys Creek Rd during these sorts of closures, people often use Blanchview Rd and Flagstone Creek Rd as well, which are council roads not designed for high traffic volumes. If damage occurs to council's roads as a result of these closures, I will again call on Main Roads to repair the damage as our ratepayers shouldn't have to foot the bill for State Government closures."

Topics:  department of transport and main roads, gatton show, mayor steve jones, toowoomba range road works



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