Dam release causes traffic chaos
MOTORISTS are being asked to stagger their journeys over the Mt Crosby weir after the shutdown of Colleges Crossing caused long delays on the alternative route.
Colleges Crossing closed on Sunday due to releases from Wivenhoe Dam, expected to continue into early next week.
A one-lane crossing, the Mt Crosby Weir off Allawah Road, has been busy dealing with the 10,000 cars a day that would usually go over Colleges Crossing.
Motorists in peak hour reported delays to radio while others complained the unsealed section of Allawah Road was too unsafe and dusty.
A Department of Transport and Main Roads official said motorists were being asked to stagger their journeys to help ease the traffic.
It is the seventh time since October last year that Colleges Crossing has closed, this time allowing for Wivenhoe Dam to release a year of drinking water from its supply.
Ipswich councillor Heather Morrow, whose division encompasses the Ipswich side of the crossing, said she had received many complaints from Allawah Road residents about the volume of traffic using the road.
“They don’t believe the road is adequate for those numbers,” Cr Morrow said.
A shop owner on the Mt Crosby side of Brisbane River said signing for the detour was inadequate, with her store experiencing a rush of drivers seeking directions for the weir.
Helen Best, from Mt Crosby Store, said there was signage to say Colleges Crossing was closed but none to show motorists where to go to find Mt Crosby Weir.
“Everyone is asking is Colleges Crossing closed, where is the Mt Crosby Weir and how do we get there, because there are no detour signs,” she said.
“It’s been constant all morning.”
Transport and Main Roads is part the way through a traffic study of Mt Crosby Road to see if it is capable of handling future demand.
Mt Crosby resident Belinda Wilson, who travels to Ipswich for work every day, said the delays were frustrating.
“I think it is terrible planning. I think they could have let the water out over a longer period so they didn’t have to do this,” she said.
TMR regional director Ron Michel said motorists should factor in delays to their journey.
There have been calls for Colleges Crossing to be upgraded, a bridge built at a different location over Brisbane River or a bridge to replace the Moggill ferry.