Council flips its decision on unsafe road upgrade petition
FOLLOWING community consultation, a local council has reconsidered its decision made earlier this year to forgo upgrading a busy single-lane road.
In November, Somerset Regional Council received a petition with 26 signatures asking for Mahon Road near Coominya to be upgraded from a sealed road into a two-lane bitumen road.
Requests for the road to be improved first began after it was damaged in the 2011 floods, but due to its proximity to Lockyer Creek, council felt that any upgrades would be a waste of money, as they would be undone by future flooding events.
Council reconsidered their decision in the wake of the petition, but based on old traffic counter data, the road was not getting enough use to qualify for an upgrade.
The decision was reversed by the new councillors at their first meeting this week.
"Following that meeting, the lead petitioner came to us to clarify their focus was on getting an upgrade to a one-kilometre section south from Newman Street East," Director of Operations Craig Young said.
"We put out the traffic counters, and found that part of the road was getting around 170 vehicles per day, which is more than the 150 needed to qualify for the forward works list."
Mahon Road extends all the way from Coominya's main street to Patrick Estate Road, near the school.
Though both ends of the road are two-lane for several hundred metres, the rest in between is gravel, with only a four metre wide surface, forcing drivers to pull off the road when passing.
Following the clarified request and new counter data, council this week voted to add the road to forward works list for upgrade to a two-lane standard.
This does not mean road works are imminent, as there are currently 16 other works already on the list, some with volumes of up to 625 vehicles per day.
Councillor Sean Choat said the situation was an important lesson in residents needing to be clear in their requests.
"It just goes to show petitions need to be very specific, otherwise details can get lost," he said.
"It was a good outcome this time."