Disaster-hit roads on the mend
THE State's largest road reconstruction effort in its history to permanently repair natural disaster damaged roads is almost a quarter of the way through the task.
Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said last summer, Queenslanders experienced some of the worst weather in living memory during the devastating floods and cyclones.
The damage to the state's road network exceeded a quarter of the whole network, with damage to more than 9000 kilometres.
RACQ senior traffic engineer Greg Miszkowycz, who recently drove from Cairns to Brisbane along the Bruce Highway to survey for a report, said they got held up one hour for every four hour trips, so he urged motorists to allocate extra travel time this summer break.
"We did encounter a lot of road work sites," he said.
Mr Miszkowycz said after every road works, there would be a large congress of vehicles, including bigger, slower moving vehicles.
"What we noticed was that people would try to overtake multiple vehicles at once," he said.
"There were significant lengths of road sections that were fixed straight away, however, there were still some areas that have a lot to spend, such as Central Queensland, which has almost $1 billion."
Mr Wallace said more than $4.2 billion has been budgeted over the next three years to reconstruct the road network.
"More than $1 billion in road repairs have been completed since the disasters," he said.
"Works are really ramping up with about 80 packages, worth more than $1 billion currently under way across the state.
"We have a further 32 tenders being prepared to go to the market in the next month for over $650 million of construction."
A Main Roads spokeswoman said the department worked around the clock to repair and reopen roads damaged by the disasters by putting in lane closures, speed limits and load restrictions, just to get people back on the road as quickly as possible.
"We've focused on the areas with the greatest damage," she said. "For example, in the North Queensland region, 24% of the region's state road network was damaged and already more than half (57%) of the reconstruction works are completed or in delivery."
But it wasn't just roads that were damaged, with Premier Anna Bligh, who is also Reconstruction Minister, announcing the reconstruction program had surged past $3 billion.
"Across Queensland, almost $700 million worth of projects are completed, a massive $1.363 billion projects are underway or out to tender and a further $1.286 billion are being prepared for market."
For up-to-date information on roadworks and other traffic disruptions, visit www.131940.qld.gov.au or call 13 19 40.
To protect motorists and staff, traffic signals, traffic controllers, single lane closures and speed restrictions are being used as required.
Motorists should drive to the changed traffic conditions and obey all signage for their own safety and the safety of road workers.
Main Road's reconstruction or permanent repairs per region:
- Far north Queensland: 19% damaged and 15% of reconstruction completed or under way.
- North Queensland: 24% damaged and more than half (57%) of reconstruction completed or under way.
- Central: 22% damaged and 34% of reconstruction completed or under way.
- Southern Queensland:19% damaged and 34% of reconstruction completed or under way.
South east Queensland : Sustained 11% damage. Priority was to fix the massive damage to major freight and heavy vehicle routes in the north, works in SEQ will kick off soon.