Round­about work to start

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

CON­STRUC­TION has started on the $2 mil­lion Port Dou­glas round­about, which is set to be­come a con­crete slab with­out veg­e­ta­tion in the cen­tre.

The sin­gle-lane round­about at the in­ter­sec­tion of Cap­tain Cook High­way and Port Dou­glas Road will be com­pleted be­fore Christ­mas, weather per­mit­ting.

De­spite there be­ing plans for the round­about to be­come a gate­way to the Dou­glas re­gion and MP David Kemp­ton chas­ing ad­di­tional fund­ing for land­scap­ing, the Depart­ment of Trans­port and Main Roads de­cided to make it a con­crete slab.

‘‘The pro­ject, t o be de­liv­ered by Road­Tek, fol­lows ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion with the Port Dou­glas Com­mu­nity, fol­low­ing a Queens­land Govern­ment elec­tion com­mit­ment in 2012,’’ Main Roads said.

‘‘A road safety au­dit rec­om­mended a con­crete round­about cen­tre with­out veg­e­ta­tion.

‘‘ We are aware of the im­por­tance of Port Dou­glas’ iconic palm trees to the com­mu­nity, but safety and con­struc­tion re­quire­ments will re­quire re­moval of up to five palm trees.’’

The re­moval of the palm trees and con­crete cen­tre is go­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion to plans to cre­ate a land­mark gate­way to Port Dou­glas and the wider re­gion, which has dis­ap­pointed di­vi­sion 10 coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu.

‘‘Whilst I very much wel­come the com­mence­ment of the round­about, it ap­pear the op­por­tu­nity for the promised iconic gate­way has dis­ap­peared,’’ she said.

‘‘Sure the five palms can be re­lo­cated and re­planted. I’m very dis­ap­pointed at the level of land­scap­ing which was also promised, in­clud­ing an ex­pec­ta­tion [re­gard­ing] the cen­tre of the round­about. Look at the other round­abouts, es­pe­cially at Bar­rier St, it’s beau­ti­ful and that’s what we were promised.

‘‘We are an in­ter­na­tional tourism des­ti­na­tion, 80 per cent of our econ­omy is based on tourism and in­stead of a wow fac­tor on ar­rival into Port Dou­glas we have more con­crete and fewer palm trees.’’

Port Dou­glas OIC Se­nior Sergeant Damian Mead­ows said he had pre­sented ad­vice that it would be bet­ter for lowlevel land­scap­ing in the cen­tre of the round­about.

‘‘It is safer to crash into a bunch of bushes in the cen­tre rather than go across a con­crete round­about and crash into on­com­ing traf­fic,’’ he said.

MP David Kemp­ton said he was dis­ap­pointed with the news and would be look­ing into it.

While the round­about is be­ing com­pleted traf­fic en­ter­ing and ex­it­ing Port Dou­glas will be di­verted along Old Port Road and the Cook High­way will re­main open un­der traf­fic con­trol for north and south bound traf­fic be­tween Craiglie and Moss­man.

Main Roads re­minds peo­ple to drive to con­di­tions, al­ways fol­low the di­rec­tion of traf­fic con­trollers and obey safety signs.

For more in­for­ma­tion on this pro­ject, call the TMR Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Team on 4050 5415 dur­ing busi­ness hours. For up- to- date traf­fic con­di­tions and travel in­for­ma­tion visit 131940.qld.gov.au or call 13 19 40.

Damian Mead­ows

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