Mackay ring road can’t handle wide loads

There are fears the proposed Mackay ring road will not be able to handle wide loads based on existing plans.

Road Accident Action Group safety co-ordinator Graeme Ransley said since only two lanes would be utilised on the Stockroute Road section of the ring road, vehicles with wide loads would still have to use Bruce Highway.

Ransley added vehicles going to and from the west would have to use Homebush Road to Rosella, south of Mackay, instead of the proposed Peaks Down Realignment part of the ring road, the Daily Mercury reported.

“This project must be of equal importance as the ring road,” Ransley said.

“Both projects (are) integral, however, this is not clear on the legend, as the Peak Downs Realignment (is) only mentioned as ‘future projects’”.

He is concerned that as new mining operations commence in the Galilee Basin in the next few years, it is important the roads between Paget, Hay Point and regions west of Mackay are well connected.

“You’ve got Dudgeon Point coming online in the next few years, Hay Point expansion…people are commuting up and down highway and they are going to be stopped,” he said.

But a spokesman from the Department of Main Roads countered Ransley’s comments, saying ‘the Mackay Ring Road and existing network will accommodate wide-load vehicles’.

Yesterday was the deadline for submissions on the project, which plans to divert traffic from Bruce Highway between Stockroute Road, south of the city, to north of Glenella.

RAAG has asked Transport and Main Roads to built four lanes on the ring road instead of two.

Ransley is pushing for more people to make submissions.

“We need other people from the public to have an opinion,” he said.

Bruce Highway is struggling to keep up with the large numbers of heavy vehicles using the road, according to the NTARC report earlier this year.

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Bruce Highway did not receive enough investment. He said $3.3 billion had been invested into the road since Labor came into office, with 90 kilometres of duplications currently under construction. 

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