$1.5m ‘up­grade’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

THE bill for re­pair­ing a sec­tion of the Moss­man-Mt Mol­loy Rd near the base of the Rex Range is ex­pected to reach at least $1.5 mil­lion

Much to the de­light of frus­trated lo­cals who have had to live life in the slow lane for more than two years, the on­go­ing road­works, 4.4km from the base of the Rex Range, are ex­pected to be fin­ished by the end of next month.

Work restarted last Oc­to­ber but was put on hold af­ter geotech­ni­cal en­gi­neers found two com­pletely dif­fer­ent types of rock on ei­ther side of the site when con­struc­tion started.

GEO Con­struct is car­ry­ing out the $1.5 mil­lion pro­ject to the re­pair the em­bank­ment, which was dam­aged by ex­treme wet weather.

There are no cur­rent plans to stop flood­ing at Bushy Creek on the Moss­man-Mt Mol­loy Rd.

The road work site is cur­rently re­duced to a sin­gle lane with traf­fic lights and a re­duced speed limit for the safety of road work­ers and mo­torists.

Mem­ber for Cook David Kemp­ton said the dis­cov­ery of the dif­fer­ent types of rocks dis­cov­ered by geo-tech­ni­cal en­gi­neers was “un­usual”.

“As a result it was nec­es­sary to go back to the de­sign draw­ing-board,” he said.

“De­ter­min­ing de­sign so­lu­tions for com­plex sites such as those on range roads can take some time due to the difficult ter­rain along with engi­neer­ing and tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments.”

Mr Kemp­ton said the con­trac­tor re­turned to the site in late May with work to be com­pleted by the end of next month, weather per­mit­ting.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate the work is tak­ing longer than ex­pected, how­ever, it is im­por­tant to make sure the de­sign so­lu­tions are ro­bust,” Mr Kemp­ton said.

“It is un­der­stood traf­fic de­lays may be com­pounded with the start of the cane crush­ing sea­son which will see many cane haulage trucks trav­el­ling on this road daily.

“The pro­ject team is look­ing at the best way to man­age traf­fic through the site to re­duce the impact of de­lays and dis­rup­tions on mo­torists, where pos­si­ble.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate mo­torists’ pa­tience and co-op­er­a­tion while the works con­tinue.”

The road is presently re­duced to a sin­gle lane with traf­fic lights and a re­duced speed limit for the safety of road work­ers and mo­torists.

The work is be­ing de­liv­ered un­der Nat­u­ral Dis­as­ter Re­lief and Re­cov­ery Ar­range­ments (NDRRA), a joint fed­eral and state ini­tia­tive.

Un­der th­ese ar­range­ments, the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment pro­vides 75 per cent of the fund­ing, with 25 per cent from the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment.

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