News

Imagine hitting this at 100kmh: Roads in ruin after big wet

GIANT POTHOLE: A huge pothole opened up on the Cunningham Highway yesterday.
GIANT POTHOLE: A huge pothole opened up on the Cunningham Highway yesterday.

THE region's roads have taken a hammering this week, with heavy and widespread rain leaving highways littered with hazardous potholes.

On the Cunningham Hwy, east of Goondiwindi, a pothole was transsformed into a 10mx4m road hazard that filled a driving lane and required emergency attention.

The gaping hole prompted calls to emergency crews, with motorists concerned it could be the cause of a serious road crash.

Warwick District Community Road Safety Group secretary Andrew Gale said the emergence of large potholes highlighted the importance of the "if it's flooded, forget it" message.

"Never cross floodwaters and be careful with water lying on roads because you can't see what's going on underneath. It could be all scoured out," he said.

"A lot of water can undermine a road very quickly.

"These potholes can open up before your eyes."

Mr Gale commended the council on its quick action with the road damage and urged motorists to report hazards.

"I think the council do a pretty good job with getting onto these things. When we have critical incidents I'm happy with the way they respond," he said.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said the weekend's rain has further impacted already saturated ground, which was causing the damage in the region's roads.

"The water undermines the road surface causing potholes, ruts and subsidence," Cr Dobie said.

"Council crews were out across the region assessing roads (on Tuesday), and doing clean-ups as a result of the weekend's rain and localised flooding.

"A number of roads were closed due to flooding, and some re-opened throughout the day."

Cr Dobie said the council crews were working to get on top of these jobs.

"In the meantime, we encourage everyone to be aware of road conditions and to report potholes and other road damage to council if you have a smartphone or device is through the MY SDRC app's fix-it function."

"With this sort of rain, drivers are going to have to be alert. We have a large number of dirt roads and surfaces that have become muddy and slushy, with potholes and ruts.

"And while we're trying to get to everything in priority order, we can't get to everything straight away, so please take care and report damage."

SDRC's manager of works maintenance Chris Whitaker said all maintenance crews were working to mend the council's 3000km road network.

"The creation of potholes accelerates in wet conditions and gravel roads can become slippery in prolonged wet weather," he said.

"Council's construction crews have also been diverted to help with the maintenance burden.

"Fortunately there has been no major damage resulting in permanent road closures."

Topics:  potholes, roads, southern downs regional council


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