THE RACQ has called on the Federal Government to provide additional funding to fix the Bruce Highway to prevent further unnecessary road carnage.
RACQ's executive general manager for advocacy Paul Turner said the Bruce Highway Action Plan Out of the Crisis, released yesterday by the Queensland Government, relied on the Federal Government fulfilling its national highway obligations.
Mr Turner said the 10-year plan incorporated the motoring club's top priorities to address critical safety, flooding and capacity issues on the highway.
"Recent comments by the Federal Government that roads funding may be cut to a 50/50 basis would decimate this plan and condemn Queenslanders to another decade of unnecessary road deaths and injuries on our major highway," Mr Turner said.
"The Bruce Highway is one of the most dangerous highways in Australia, accounting for more than 17% of deaths while representing only 7.5% of national highway length.
"It also accounts for approximately 40 fatalities and 400 serious injuries every year.
"The Bruce Highway also consistently appears in the club's Unroadworthy Roads Survey. In fact, all six sections of the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns featured in the Top 10 worst state and national network roads in 2011.
"RACQ has been campaigning for urgent upgrades to the Bruce for many years and just when we see action from the Queensland Government, the Federal Government threatens to reduce its contribution.
"We can't allow that to happen."
The Queensland Government formed the Bruce Highway Crisis Management Group after being elected in March this year, and undertook to release its report within six months.
Mr Turner said the Queensland Government plan would result in safer roadsides, safer intersections and additional overtaking lanes to improve safety and freight efficiency.
It also addressed critical flood locations that every summer closed the highway for days at a time, to the detriment of the local and state economy.
RACQ figures showed the Bruce Highway was cut by flood waters more than 500 times in two years between 2009 and 2011.
RACQ advocated the use of the Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) rating system for the Bruce Highway to ensure the elimination of all one and two-star sections over the next decade, with all new works to achieve a minimum four-star standard.
Highlights from the plan are
- Mass action treatments across much of the highway
- Wide (1 metre) centre line
- Sealed shoulders
- Formation widening where a seal >10m is not possible
- Safety barriers
- Additional overtaking lanes
- Audible line markings
Cairns to Townsville
- Cairns Southern Access Corridor - Stages 2 and 3 (capacity, safety)
- Edmonton to Gordonvale duplication (capacity, safety)
- Cattle and Frances Creek Upgrades (flooding)
- Ingham to Cardwell Range deviation (including Gairloch floodway) - construction listed in High Priority 2.
Townsville to Mackay
- Haughton River & Pink Lily Lagoon upgrade (flooding, safety)
- Yellow Gin Creek Upgrade (flooding)
- Sandy Gully Bridge Upgrade (flooding)
Mackay to Rockhampton
- Mackay Northern Access Upgrade (capacity, safety)
- Mackay Intersection Upgrades - Stage 2 (capacity, safety)
- Sarina Northern Access Upgrade (capacity, safety)
- Duplication of Mackay to Sarina not expected to be funded (capacity, safety)
Rockhampton to Gympie
- Yeppen floodplain south upgrade (flooding)
- Rockhampton North Access Upgrade - Stage 1 (capacity, safety)
- Childers Bypass Construction works not listed
Gympie to Sunshine Coast
- Cooroy to Curra Upgrade - Section A (safety, capacity)
- Cooroy to Curra Upgrade - Section C (safety, capacity)
- Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway - Stage 1 (safety, capacity)
- Cooroy to Curra Upgrade - Section D not expected to be funded (capacity, safety)
Sunshine Coast to Brisbane boundary
- Managed motorways - Gateway Mwy to Caboolture - (capacity, safety)
- No significant safety/capacity improvements.