Gridlocked intersection condemned

The intersection of Codenwarra Rd, the Capricorn Hwy and Gregory Hwy, along with the nearby rail crossing continues to cause headaches for residents.
The intersection of Codenwarra Rd, the Capricorn Hwy and Gregory Hwy, along with the nearby rail crossing continues to cause headaches for residents. Simon Green

CONCERNS about the revamped Codenwarra Rd and Gregory Hwy intersection continue to run rife in Emerald with many questioning the logic of the new traffic lights.

There is no doubt recent flooding at the John Gay Bridge exposed the pitfalls of the intersection with residents on the south side finding themselves caught in gridlocks that ran down Campbellford Dr to as far back as Rifle Range Rd.

The Department of Traffic and Main Roads (TMR) said the responsibility of the intersection lies solely on Central Highlands Market Place developer Lascorp.

Former owner of the land on which Lascorp's shopping centre now sits Carl Morawitz said the problems at the intersection were nothing new.

"The fact is that intersection was an issue even when there was only a third of the traffic there," Mr Morawitz said.

"There are two government organisations at play here and neither of them seemed to have the authority to make things right - we're talking about Queensland Rail and Main Roads," he said.

"That intersection should be a straight meet between Codenwarra Rd and Gregory Hwy.

"The rail crossing should have been moved but they could never come to an agreement and no one seemed to have authority over the situation."

Mr Morawitz said over the years he had seen countless designs for the intersection, many involving the possibility of a roundabout.

''Due to the proximity of the rail crossing it became evident that a roundabout would simply not have worked," he said.

TMR yesterday denied responsibility of the situation.

"The design of the intersection was determined in Lascorp's development application stage and also by a court appeal process, not by Transport and Main Roads," a department spokeswoman said.

"It is Transport and Main Roads' responsibility to ensure the intersection is designed and constructed to current engineering standards."

A Lascorp spokesman yesterday urged residents to be patient as the intersection was yet to be completed.

He said the intersection was not in its final form and, subject to weather, residents could expect to see it fully operational in about three to four weeks.

Emerald's Paradise Taxis driver Alex Kitto believes factors such as a new shopping centre and flooding do not out-weigh the fact the intersection was "completely wrong" in its current form.

"The crossroads from the northern roadway (Codenwarra Rd) to the southern hwy (Gregory Hwy) should have been realigned to create one intersection," Mr Kitto said.

Mr Morawitz said it was a shame nothing seemed to have been solved after years of debate on the intersection.

The TMR spokeswoman said the department will work with all parties concerned to achieve the best outcome for the safety and efficiency of traffic movements at the intersection.

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