Traffic is expected to increase on Upper Dawson Rd as thousands of vehicles are diverted from Gladstone Rd ahead of a 9m flood peak.
Traffic is expected to increase on Upper Dawson Rd as thousands of vehicles are diverted from Gladstone Rd ahead of a 9m flood peak. Michelle Gately

Cracks revealed in Bruce Hwy flood diversion

EARLIER engagement with Rockhampton Regional Council could have avoided confusion over vehicle access to Rockhampton while the Yeppen Bidge diversion was in place during the floods.

In a statement to The Morning Bulletin, main roads minister Mark Bailey said the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) recognised it did not enter talks with council early enough to avoid issues with traffic management plans, which led to eleventh hour road works in Allenstown to let heavy vehicles pass through the city.

In what was the first real test of the diversion, vehicles travelling along the Bruce Hwy were diverted along Upper Dawson Rd.

This saw the road dealing with three times its daily traffic capacity.

>>READ: 'Game changer' plan turns into chaotic bungle for Rocky road<<

Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group Councillor Tony Williams told The Morning Bulletin the plan had not previously been trialled.

But Mr Bailey maintained the Yeppen South Operational Plan achieved its overall goal of keeping traffic flowing through the city during the flood.

 

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

"There were some teething issues with the Yeppen switch traffic diversion process and I've asked TMR to look at how it can be improved the next time Rocky floods.

"This was the first time the Yeppen South and North bridges and traffic switch were truly tested since being built and there will always be lessons to learn when something is implemented for the first time.

"TMR acknowledges that engagement with council earlier in the traffic management process would have addressed any confusion about vehicle access prior to the implementation of the Yeppen South Operational Plan and is committed to reviewing the plan to inform and improve operations in future weather events."

A South Rockhampton Flood Levee could prevent flooding along Gladstone Rd, negating the need for traffic to be diverted along Upper Dawson Rd.

"The Palaszczuk Government has committed to the delivery of the South Rockhampton Flood Levee and my department, will continue to work closely with council throughout the project's development," Mr Bailey said.

"This will ensure an understanding of any impacts on state-controlled infrastructure, including Gladstone Rd, and where opportunities may exist for other regionally significant infrastructure project to align and deliver the greatest overall benefit."

Cr Williams also raised concerns about how schools along the street would cope were traffic diversions to take place during term time.

However, it's understood this would be a matter which would have to be dealt with by the schools and the LDMG.



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