HOLEY ROAD FOR EASTER
Residents pray for a miracle to fix Ryalls Rd
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
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.