HAZARD LIGHTS FLASHING ON NEW SMITHFIELD BYPASS ROUTE
DANIEL BATEMAN AND CHRIS CALCINO THE new-look Smithfield Bypass has left Cairns civic leaders scratching their heads, with one questioning the wisdom of adding a set of lights to the Captain Cook Hwy.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads has unveiled a new design plan for the $152 million roadway, which will now connect to the Cairns Western Arterial Rd and Captain Cook Hwy roundabout at Caravonica, rather than the Yorkeys Knob roundabout.
The Caravonica-highway roundabout will also be upgraded to become a signalised intersection.
Construction is due to start within weeks, with a completion date of late 2020.
Advance Cairns chief executive Nick Trompf said while it was great construction on the bypass would finally get under way, adding a set of traffic lights to the highway was not a positive move.
“We welcome the road being realigned to intersect at Caravonica,” he said.
“It’s much more than the original route.
“But it would be an A-grade solution if it had flyovers at the end instead of traffic lights.”
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch questioned whether the new alignment of the bypass would still require the compulsory acquisition of property belonging to North- logical ern Glazing, Glass and Aluminium at Smithfield.
“It worries me a lot that something that was set in concrete, and could never be reversed, is suddenly, at a whim, changed,” he said.
“The impact it’s already had on that business is quite profound.”
Northern Glazing owner Mark Gunn was also unsure yesterday whether the new alignment would still cut through his former land.
“I’m pretty pissed off,” he said.
“I’ve had to alter my whole life because of it.”
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said he was unable to comment on the new bypass plan until council had been properly briefed on the changes.