Federal Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott met with the Warwick Chamber of Commerce to discuss the urgency of repairs to the Gap.
Federal Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott met with the Warwick Chamber of Commerce to discuss the urgency of repairs to the Gap.

Highway repairs get priority

FEDERAL Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott has pledged his support to Warwick’s Chamber of Commerce in re-energising business and tourism in the Rose City post floods.

Mr Scott, who met with Chamber of Commerce president Dave Littleproud yesterday afternoon, said nutting out permanent repair jobs to The Gap and on the New England Highway needs to be top priority.

“I’d like to have the senior person responsible for state roads to personally look at the subsidences to the highway,” he said.

“I want to be confident the work they’re doing is a long-term solution. (The Gap) has been closed far too often.”

Mr Scott said the upkeep and repairs to chief roads needed to keep up with the growth of freight transport, which doubles every 10 years.

A number of statistics from local businesses were presented to Mr Scott at the meeting, which highlighted the loss of income bought to the Warwick economy due to lengthy repairs.

To combat this, and to re-bolster tourism and business in the region, Mr Scott said he wanted to get an upbeat message out to the rest of Australia.

“We need to be positive, and tell everyone ‘we’re open for business’. We’ve got the best season we’ve seen in 10 years, and there’s no better time to visit the region,” he said.

Mr Scott said he would encourage local tourism boards, as well as local, state and federal levels of government to work together to help re-strengthen business and tourism in Queensland.

A Main Roads spokesperson said the department “recognises the Cunningham Highway is a vital east-west link” and said current repair jobs are working to reverse landslips along the Gap.

“The Cunningham Highway at the Gap remains under stop/go traffic conditions from the helipad to the top of the Gap, with sections of the road undergoing urgent repairs.

“The highway embankment has subsided at several locations as a result of the wet weather event,” she said.

The spokesperson said the main areas of concern were near the top of the Gap; Clayton’s Gully and Fig Tree Gully.

“Bore holes were drilled into the road over the past week to learn what caused the subsidence and assist geotechnical engineers design permanent embankment solutions,” the spokesperson added.

“The restoration program will begin in coming weeks and these major works will take months to complete.

“While the pavement works are under way, slope stabilisation work will be carried out, including rock bolting and scaling.”

Main Roads expects work to be completed this month.

“Motorists need to be aware that they can expect lengthy delays when travelling through the Gap,” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, council roadwork continues with haste, with McCahon Bridge now open but with further work scheduled; and Dalrymple Creek Bridge scheduled to re-open by the end of the week.

“Palmer’s Bridge is currently being worked on, and will reopen hopefully next week. Lyndhurst Lane is closed, and Sandy Creek is closed to through traffic.”

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