Roundabout work to start
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.