Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, says he has made progress on concerns expressed by local residents on Townsville’s Northern Beaches, about the urgent need for an upgrade to the Bruce Highway and Church and Bowden Road intersections, north of the Black River.
Mr Cripps said he had presented a petition on the issue to the Queensland Parliament in August last year and since then had continued to work with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) to find a solution, which he says looks to be getting closer.
“I’m pleased to say the DTMR has nominated this issue as the number one safety priority for the Northern District and recommended that this project be submitted to the Commonwealth Government for funding, which has since occurred” said Mr Cripps.
“The long term solution is traffic lights at Black River Road intersection, with Bowden Road and Church Roads to be accessed via service roads – but the indicative cost of this project is $72 million and that will be a few years away yet” said Mr Cripps.
“However, in view of the safety issues experienced by local road users, I’ve been working with DTMR to develop an interim solution that would involve unsignalised, staggered intersections for Bowden, Church and Black River Roads” he said.
“This would improve the situation at the current Bowden Road intersection, provide auxiliary lanes for all movements and contribute to the long term solution, in terms of service roads to consolidate property accesses which directly access the Bruce Highway” said Mr Cripps.
“The Commonwealth Government is currently considering this proposal, estimated to cost $10 million, which if successful, could see construction commence in late 2015 and we are hopeful for an outcome on this funding request in the near future” he said.
Mr Cripps said in the meantime, a more immediate response was also being investigated, including a speed limit review being scheduled for this stretch of the Bruce Highway to be completed in early February 2015, as well as some temporary road safety initiatives.