Qld reopening roads after floods

REPAIRS are underway to almost 5000km of state and local roads in Queensland – many of them in the coalfields – following the havoc caused by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

Lou Caruana

The Bruce Highway recently reopened while work is underway to reopen other major state roads including the Capricorn, Wide Bay, Burnett, Cunningham, Warrego and Mt Lindesay highways.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said all impacted roads and bridges were undergoing a full safety assessment before they were being reopened.

“This morning I saw first-hand the damage to the Bruce, Burnett and Capricorn highways near Rockhampton and I’m left with no doubt this will be a major recovery and then repair task,” Emerson said.

“This will come on top of the more than 689 projects that are still to be completed statewide following the damage caused by flooding in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

“I’ll also be speaking to local mayors to properly understand their needs and reassure them they have the department’s full support as they assess damage and start the road to recovery for their communities.”

Emerson said TMR engineers and technical staff were assessing and prioritising damage to roads, culverts, drainage systems, bridges, signage, lighting, guardrails and marine infrastructure.

“Even if a road is open, I still urge drivers to take care as the conditions will have changed,” he said.

“There are also a number of heavy vehicle restrictions in place to protect saturated roads from further damage and these are enforceable by law.

“Reducing your load by 20 per cent can minimise the impact on road materials by about 50 per cent.

“Our engineers and inspectors based in regions across the state are conducting inspections and testing to reopen roads as soon as possible after flood waters recede, with a focus on ensuring the road does not contain any potholes or washouts that could endanger motorists.”