Councillor Greg Belz.
Councillor Greg Belz. FILE

Traffic changes deadly: Cr Belz

COUNCILLOR Greg Belz has delivered a passionate plea to the decision makers to avoid turning Dean St into a major traffic route as part of Rockhampton's third-bridge solution.

The experienced Rockhampton councillor has torn into the suggestion made by former city mayor Lea Taylor that Rockhampton's third bridge route should link Stanley St with Dean St and Norman Rd.

He said if Mr Taylor's plan were adopted it would bring deaths and disruption to the streets.

“As sure as night follows day, turning Stanley St, Dean St and Norman Rd into the Bruce Highway, with a huge increase in heavy transport and vehicles 24 hours a day will lead to deaths of city residents,” he said.

“I had to work hard once before to stop this dangerous idea when it was floated and it needs to be stopped again in its tracks now.

“A bridge there would assist local traffic, but the deadly consequences of turning it into the substitute Bruce Highway would far outweigh any benefit to residents of the area.”

Mr Taylor argues that the third bridge has to go through the city centre to ensure the city doesn't miss out on valuable income from through traffic. He fears if a ring-road route is built it will suck hundreds of millions of dollars of business out of the city.

But Cr Belz said local residents were horrified by the possibility.

“I know these areas and the residents well. High volumes of semi-trailers night and day do not safely or pleasantly mix with residential and school areas, and residents of these areas would strongly agree that this is not an idea that would qualify for membership of club sensible.”

He said the route passed five schools, two childcare centres, a retirement village, two large congregation churches and CQUniversity.

A Main Roads report into flood-proofing Rockhampton and providing capacity for future growth in traffic volumes has offered three possible options.

The Yeppen Flood Plain Study describes one route behind Rockhampton Airport, crossing the river north of the city and joining the Bruce Highway north of Glenmore.

A second option runs to the east of the city behind Depot Hill, crossing the river south of the CDB. A third route proposes upgrading the existing highway with more traffic interchanges.

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