HO­LEY ROAD FOR EASTER

Res­i­dents pray for a mir­a­cle to fix Ryalls Rd

Chinchilla News - - FRONT PAGE - Madi­son Watt Madi­son.Watt@chin­chillanews.com.au

FOR Colum­boola res­i­dents, driv­ing to and from home can feel like driv­ing through a bat­tle­field.

Their pot­hole-lit­tered road has been caus­ing them grief for years now, with no end in sight as their pleas to coun­cil to fix the road go unan­swered.

Ryalls Rd res­i­dent and Colum­boola Coun­try owner Colin Jack­son said the state of the road was so poor that peo­ple would stop and turn around.

“There are more holes in our road than there would have been in the bat­tle­fields of Gal­lipoli,” he said.

Mr Jack­son and his neigh­bours had never had any trou­bles with the road un­til the coun­cil amal­ga­ma­tion 10 years ago.

“They would bring out trucks full of gravel to fill up holes, bring out a roller and a wa­ter truck and a grader and do the road prop­erly,” he said.

“For many years, you could drop off the road from the bi­tu­men and you wouldn’t even know you were on dirt road, be­cause the dirt road was that good.

“But it hasn’t been that good since the amal­ga­ma­tion.

“The road now just gets graded by just a grader, what’s called a dry grade, and all they do is get the dirt from the side (of the road) and push it into the mid­dle.”

Res­i­dents say the dry grade lasts for only a few days be­fore the road re­turns to its poor state, dam­ag­ing cars and car­a­vans.

Mr Jack­son told of a camper who had driven on Ryalls Rd and hit a pot­hole, smash­ing his rear car win­dow.

“Coun­cil said they had no knowl­edge that the road was in dis­re­pair,” he said.

“I’ve told the coun­cil to fix that road how many times.

“I con­tacted coun­cil and said, ‘this is bull**** that you’re not tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity’.

“You know the road is wrecked, do some­thing about it.”

Ryalls Rd, along the War­rego High­way, is a 20km stretch of road that’s home to res­i­dents as well as a QGC fa­cil­ity and Cameby Downs coal mine.

A spokesman from Yan­coal, which op­er­ates the Cameby Downs coal mine, con­firmed the com­pany was in dis­cus­sions with Western Downs Re­gional Coun­cil about up­grad­ing the road.

Coun­cil con­firmed dis­cus­sions in­volved widen­ing 2km of the ex­ist­ing bi­tu­men sec­tion and up­grad­ing 500m of the gravel road to sealed bi­tu­men.

Fel­low res­i­dents Dar­ryl Bishop and Carol Smith un­der­stand the whole length of the road can’t be tarred, but would like to see some sealed parts widened or at least graded prop­erly.

“The ex­ist­ing bi­tu­men (needs to be) widened,” Ms Smith said.

“There are a lot of trucks go­ing into Cameby Downs and they’re very, very hard on the road.

“But you’ve got to be re­al­is­tic, even if the first piece (of road) was con­tin­ued to the Cameby Downs en­try, that would stop a lot of the cor­ru­ga­tion from the heavy truck­loads that go in there, cre­at­ing all the prob­lems on the road there.”

A spokesman said coun­cil was “aware of Ryalls Road and as re­cently as last year Mayor Paul McVeigh per­son­ally in­spected this road”.

Coun­cil also con­firmed a com­plaint was re­ceived in Jan­uary, which was fully in­ves­ti­gated.

❝ There are more holes in our road than there would have been in the bat­tle­fields of Gal­lipoli. — Colin Jack­son

PHOTO: MADI­SON WATT

GRUMPY OLD MAN: Colum­boola Coun­try owner Colin Jack­son said the pot­holes on Ryalls Rd had af­fected his busi­ness.

Ryalls Rd pot­holes af­ter rain, pic­tured Novem­ber 18.

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