Business 'to lose $5000' as major road closures wreak havoc
BUSINESSES, people trying to make medical appointments, airport flights and students going on school camps could be affected by major road closures at Cunninghams Gap over a period of five days.
Crisps Coaches owner Russell Crisp said it would affect about 350 passengers and cost his business at least $5000 by having to put on extra staff and pay for accommodation to cope with delays.
A spokesman from the Department of Transport said Cunninghams Gap would be closed to all traffic from 7am-9am and 1pm-3pm from November 5 until November 10.
The road is closures will take place between Aratula BP and Tregony Fisher Park Truck Stop, a total of 22,140 meters.
Travellers have been told to also expect delays of up to 10 minutes when roads are open.
Mr Crisp said he was disappointed he was not consulted about the closures.
"Look I understand this work needs to be done, they need to upgrade the roads, but no one ever rang us to say we're thinking of closing the highway at these hours," he said.
"It means we now have to detour one or two of our services via Toowoomba and people who already have pre-booked connections for flights or appointments in Brisbane are going to be a bit iffy.
"We will need an extra driver waiting in Brisbane for the return trip now because there might not be enough time for the first driver to rest between journeys."
Detouring via Toowoomba will add about an hour to the trip, according to Mr Crisp.
His company is also expected to transport students from a number of schools on school camps.
It is understood works are being undertaken at the Gap as part of the South Coast Reconstruction program following Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
The road currently traffics around 6500 vehicles per day.
A Department of Transport spokesman said a contractor will be undertaking works directly above the road, including stabilisation of large boulders and removal of loose debris.
"The work can only be completed by closing the highway in both directions to ensure the safety of the travelling public," he said.
"The stabilisation work has been scheduled to be delivered at the same time as other programmed works within the district."
The spokesman said a detour was available from Ipswich Rosewood Road via Gatton Helidon Road, heading towards Warwick on the New England Highway.
The road is closed between Aratula BP and Tregony Fisher Park Truck Stop, a total of 22,140 meters.
For more information call the Department of Transport on 13 19 40.