Residents were 'left in the dark'

A DESIRE to improve public safety was behind Gerald Harvey's push for a safer connecting road between Hervey Bay and Maryborough.

Mr Harvey, who owns Country Stopover Caravan Park in Tinana, approached Fraser Coast Regional Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) more than a year ago to discuss the installation of a connecting road between Three Mile Rd and Glenville Place for safer access to Iindah Rd.

The connection would mean residents who leave the caravan park and drive to Hervey Bay would not need to access the Bruce Highway and turn into traffic travelling at 100kmh.

However, Mr Harvey has said he was left in the dark after he was told by council the plan, which would coincide with the current works on the Tinana Interchange upgrade, would go ahead but had later been revoked.

"The Mayor (Chris Loft) and (Division 8 Councillor) Denis Chapman seemed very keen on the idea but they didn't have the courtesy to tell us they'd changed their mind," he said.

On August 1, 2017, a letter was delivered to residents on the northern side of Glenville Place informing them of TMR's intention to connect Three Mile Rd to Glenville Place completing the "missing link".

It stated how in order to complete works, Glenville Place was to be widened to accommodate the link and regulated signage would restrict heavy vehicles from entering.

Glenville Place resident Lester Imhoff said residents south of the street did not receive the letter and felt those living on the north side were encouraged to voice their concerns, which he believed gave council a reason not to go ahead with the planned road.

He said it was only when a snippet of the letter was released on the Maryborough Community Facebook page that he was aware such correspondence existed.

Tinana residents (L) Keryn Staib, Gerald Harvey and Lester Imhoff want to see the roadworks by-pass road connected to Glen-ville Place for safer access for people at the Country Stop Over Caravan Park.
Tinana residents (L) Keryn Staib, Gerald Harvey and Lester Imhoff want to see the roadworks by-pass road connected to Glen-ville Place for safer access for people at the Country Stop Over Caravan Park. Alistair Brightman

On August 2 2017, Mr Imhoff received a text message from a senior representative of TMR which stated it was a decision for council as to whether Three Mile Rd and Glenville Place joined rather than a decision by TMR.

The message said that same week, council had confirmed with TMR they did want the two roads connected and would make it a part of the Tinana Interchange Works.

Mr Harvey said he and other residents to the south of Glenville Place were not informed of the decision to no longer complete works on the connecting road.

"We were given a bunch of different reasons as to why they wouldn't go ahead with it like you couldn't see properly onto Iindah Rd bridge, there's a power pole in the way and the reasons just keep changing," he said.

Bollards are currently in place to prevent traffic travelling towards Iindah Road bridge from Glenville Place.

Planning and infrastructure portfolio councillor Denis Chapman said he acknowledged residents along Three Mile Road were in favour of the connection but a consultation with residents in Glenville Place indicated it was strongly objected.

Cr Chapman said TMR did not proceed with the project due to the cost of upgrading the Glenville Place, Iindah Road intersection.

"The capital cost to upgrade this intersection and road pavement, including service relocations, would be significant and not able to be accommodated in Council's current Capital Works Program," he said.

"While the existing intersection is satisfactory to service the existing four properties in Glenville Place, it would not safely accommodate the increased traffic that a connection to Three Mile Rd would generate," he said.

"Council estimated that Three Mile Rd carries between 400 and 500 vehicles a day including some cane trucks."

Other works to be considered were the relocation of the power pole and associated infrastructure and earthworks such as retaining structures to accommodate pavement widening and relocating guard rails.

He said the estimated cost to have the works complete was between $300,000 to $500,000 inclusive of Ergon infrastructure relocation.

Topics:  bruce highway debate fraser coast regional council

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