Experts still unsure why new Gympie highway is falling apart
TRANSPORT and Main Roads says it will repair the failed stretch of Bruce Highway north of Gympie “as quickly as possible” but that it had yet to identify the “root cause” of the problem.
Today’s statement follows a statement from DTMR less than two weeks ago that the old, original highway surface was to blame.
The statement was released in response to angry criticism from Gympie MP Tony Perrett, who drove the troubled and expensive stretch of highway this week only to find pot holes opening up and chunks of bitumen creating a traffic hazard.
“We are aware of the issue on the Bruce Highway at Chatsworth, north of Gympie,” a DTMR spokesperson said.
“We are currently completing investigations to determine the cause and extent of the damage so a plan for permanent repairs can be developed.
“Investigations to-date have identified the deterioration of the road surface is not a result of recent works.
“Once the root cause is identified, we will work to ensure the highway is repaired as quickly as possible.
“We have completed interim repairs at areas of concern requiring immediate attention to ensure the highway remains safe for road users.
“We will continue to monitor and carry out repair works where needed while we work towards a permanent solution.
“Interim repair works will be completed at night where possible to reduce the impact on the high traffic volumes.”
A FURIOUS Gympie MP has demanded State Transport Minister Mark Bailey lock in a date to rip up and replace the dangerous surface of the $17.75 million Bruce Highway upgrade immediately north of Gympie, as it continues to deteriorate and pose and threat.
“I’m furious,” a frustrated Mr Perrett said yesterday after driving part of the recently upgraded stretch of highway through Two Mile and Chatsworth and confronting pot holes and chunks of ripped up road surface which he says are potentially deadly obstacles for motorists, motorcyclists in particular.
“This is inexcusable. I wrote to Mark Bailey two weeks ago about this matter and I have had no reply,” Mr Perrett said. “He can’t be bothered responding to me in a timely manner.
“It’s getting more dangerous. The surface is breaking up and there are now pot holes in these areas that have failed that could cause an accident or even a death.
“There must be an engineer somewhere who is smart enough to know what to do.”
The roadworks were carried out on a 4.7km stretch of highway at Chatsworth last year, where $17.75 million was spent upgrading dedicated turning lanes at Fleming Rd, the McCullough and Benson roads intersection, Robert Rd, Vantage Rd, the Reynolds and Rammutt roads intersection, Fishermans Pocket Rd, the Fraser and Fritz roads intersection, and the service road at the access near Irvine Rd.
Complaints made about the “failing” surface of the highway led to the Department of Transport and Main Roads last month revealing there indeed was a problem, and it was caused by the original underlying surface of the old Bruce Highway.
“The road surface issues on the recent Bruce Highway upgrade at Chatsworth relate to the original underlying pavement and could not have been picked up before or during construction,” a TMR spokesman said.
“We are planning permanent repairs and prioritising areas which need immediate attention to ensure road users remain safe.
“These safety works will be completed at night where possible to reduce impact on traffic.”