MP protests highway closures
A SUNSHINE Coast MP has expressed disappointment over news that the Bells Creek and Roys Road median access points will be closed along the Bruce Highway in the very near future.
Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell said the changes would lead to greater safety but had also increased the frustration of local business operators and residents.
“There’s no doubt that this will make the Highway safer. But it should never have been needed,'' Mr Powell said in a statement today.
"These intersections are notorious black spots. They’ve been slated for upgrades which have never been delivered.
"And needless delays now mean instead of new and improved interchanges locals are going to be faced with longer travel times,” Mr Powell said.
“The guys at Daley’s Turf have trucks that regularly depart their farm on the eastern side of Bells Creek to travel north to the Sunshine Coast for deliveries.
"The closure of the median at Bells Creek Road means they will have to travel south to the Johnston Road exit, turn around and travel north to their destination. Adding at least 18 kilometres to their trip.
“I realise we have had too many accidents at both of these intersections and I am certainly in support of making this area safer for road users.
"But if the federal and state governments had got on with the interchange upgrades this would not have been necessary.
"These intersections, along with the Johnston Road interchange, were slated for upgrade under the Federal Government’s Nation Building Program.
"Following the floods in January 2011 the funds originally set aside for these projects was reallocated to assisting the flood recovery effort.
"Advice has now been given that the project has been reinstated and that works to upgrade will commence as soon as the design is completed.
“My focus continues to be the complete upgrade of these interchanges. I will continue to pressure both levels of Government to see these vital projects brought forward,” Mr Powell said.