Thursday, October 26, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Trucks, tradies, and diggers retuned to the previously abandoned work site on the corner of Paluma Drive and Shute Harbour Road this week and it looks as though works have resumed.
A spokesperson from the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) said that “a component of the enabling works on this section of road was temporarily paused while a review of the scope and program of works in this location was undertaken”.
“Progression of the full scope of the project to construction is subject to the outcomes of the Australian Government’s Independent Strategic Review of its Infrastructure Investment Program (IIP) and timelines for delivery will be confirmed following this review,” they said.
Confirming that crews were due to return to the site this week, TMR said that while the works were “paused” the project site was made safe with some fencing and concrete barriers.
“Reduced traffic lanes are remaining in place to preserve the roadworks and ensure the safety of road users and pedestrians in this location,” said the spokesperson.
TMR confirmed that the overall project is “currently in the detailed design phase” which has been underway since mid-2021.
The TMR website states this phase will be completed by late 2023, and will include the construction of the shared path, the progress of required service relocations, and other works to support the future delivery of planned upgrades.
The $60.34 million project comprises three projects, which will widen Proserpine - Shute Harbour Road from two to four lanes, build a new shared pathway and upgrade key intersections between Paluma Road and Tropic Road.
While works paused over the past few weeks TMR confirms “road crews were mobilised to progress enabling works between Valley Road and Tropic Road” where traffic lights are due to be installed.
When asked about the much-needed upgrades to the flood-prone Hamilton Plains sole arterial road linking the Bruce Highway to the Greater Airlie Beach Area, TMR stated it was still in the “procurement phase”.
“Progression of the project to construction is subject to the outcomes of the Australian Government’s IIP review,” said the spokesperson.
“Timeframes for award of contract and construction will be determined following the Australian Government’s review.”
With population growth increasing traffic and adding pressure to our local roads, many believe these works to be vitally important, especially as we approach rainy season.
Member for Whitsunday Amanda Camm has written to the Minister for Transport, Mark Bailey and raised the issue in Parliament.
“We are about to go into a wet season and peak tourism season, and we have half a road left in extremely dangerous conditions that sees over 26,640 traffic movements a day”, Ms Camm stated.
“Regional Queenslanders and our Whitsunday community deserve better”.
As of this Wednesday, roadworks had resumed at the intersection of Paluma and Shute Harbour Road. Photo credit: Rachael Smith