Traffic backed up along Derby St after Gladstone Rd was closed due to flooding. Tens of thousands of vehicles are diverted on to Upper Dawson Rd.
Traffic backed up along Derby St after Gladstone Rd was closed due to flooding. Tens of thousands of vehicles are diverted on to Upper Dawson Rd. Michelle Gately

'Teething issues': Roads boss sticks by major flood diversion

DESPITE some "teething issues", Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey is impressed by traffic diversions in place following the closure of Gladstone Rd.

The road closed Tuesday evening, with work crews left scrambling that night to widen sections of the road near Allenstown Square to allow easier access for B-double trucks.

Rockhampton Regional Council on Wednesday indicated they would have preferred to see the works done sooner than the day rising flood waters triggered the diversion of the Bruce Hwy, funnelling more than 23,000 vehicles daily on to usually residential streets.

On Wednesday, The Morning Bulletin asked the Department of Transport and Main Roads why the works were not done sooner, given the years of planning when had gone into the Yeppen project and subsequent highway diversion.

They did not respond before deadline, but late Wednesday evening sent a response thanking motorists for their patience during the 40-minute road closure as diversions were put in place.

 

QUICK FIX: Crews worked through the night to rip up and widen sections of Canning St and Derby St to allow B-doubles to be diverted from Gladstone Rd (INSET).
QUICK FIX: Crews worked through the night to rip up and widen sections of Canning St and Derby St to allow B-doubles to be diverted from Gladstone Rd (INSET). Michelle Gately

"The full detour route has been assessed for B-Double access, however at the Derby St and Canning St intersection (owned by Local Government), works to widen the roundabout approaches was requested ahead of introducing the traffic switch to provide additional space for heavy vehicle operators who would not be familiar with the area," a spokesperson said.

"Oversize and excess mass transport operations in the Rockhampton area ceased on Tuesday afternoon with the introduction of the Yeppen South detour.

"The notice is published on the Queensland heavy vehicle permit management system, which operators are required to check before travelling.

 

Crews worked through the night to rip up and widen sections of Upper Dawson Rd to allow B-doubles to be diverted from Gladstone Rd.
Crews worked through the night to rip up and widen sections of Upper Dawson Rd to allow B-doubles to be diverted from Gladstone Rd. Michelle Gately

"This restriction will remain while the Yeppen South traffic changes are in place, meaning the largest vehicle using the Upper Dawson Rd detour should be a B-Double vehicle."

During a visit to the city yesterday, Mr Bailey said any "teething issues" with the diversions were to be expected given it was the first time the system had been implemented.

"Because this is the first time this has occurred, we're happy and we're absolutely committed to reviewing it, to making sure we learn any lessons to make it better in the future," he said.

But Mr Bailey said there was nothing unusual about the 11th-hour road works at the Allenstown Square roundabout.

 

Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey speaks in Rockhampton.
Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey speaks in Rockhampton. Adam Wratten

"We saw some traffic calming removed, to make access safer for some of those big B-doubles that will have to use those roads," he said.

"We move traffic calming all the time for a variety of reasons.

"That happens in all sorts of circumstances as a matter of course.

"Moving a bit of traffic calming around is not unusual.

"In terms of the actual timing of that, that's an operational matter, but clearly with more heavy vehicles coming down there, they wanted to make sure it was as safe as possible."

On Tuesday, a truck driver was intercepted, checked and cautioned in relation to heigh loads after an issue reported on Upper Dawson Rd.

A Queensland Police Service spokesperson said no traffic infringement notice was issued.


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