Eight Mile hopes up

PLANS created several years ago for improvements at the Eight Mile intersection, just outside Warwick, will be reconsidered as the Department Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) looks at a possible overpass.

DTMR regional director Tony Platz visited Southern Downs Regional Council’s general meeting yesterday where he was asked about the intersection, which has been highlighted as a danger since a fatal car crash there earlier this year.

Mayor Ron Bellingham said he was pleased the Eight Mile was on the state agenda.

However, the big stumbling block will be attracting the Federal Government funding and Mr Platz said, although the original plans for a grade separated intersection could still apply, the $13 million cost estimate given at the time would have significantly increased since.

Cr Ross Bartley moved a recommendation to write to Minister for Main Roads Craig Wallace to ask to be kept up to date with their Eight Mile plans.

“While they carry out these investigations, they gather a lot of dust on the shelves,” he said.

“There is already one option on the shelf that could probably have saved a life.”

Planning for the Eight Mile is due to start after Christmas and Mr Platz said he would meet with the councillors and talk them through plans.

Meanwhile Mr Platz said the department had about $8 million in next year’s budget for the region’s roads, not including flood funding, which could amount to $30 million.

The main priorities are said to be looking at Wood and Wallace Sts, Accommodation Creek and Carnarvon Bridge.

Mr Platz said his department would also be investigating the need for a Warwick bypass and its potential location, even though it could be 20 to 30 years from being built.

Cr Mally McMurtrie said the need for a bypass and decent road infrastructure in the region was made apparent with the recent flooding in New South Wales, when traffic was diverted through the region due to the closure of the Pacific Highway.

“That was scary because our roads weren’t up to scratch,” she said.

Mr Platz said crews had only done “emergency works” on the highway and hadn’t even started on flood recovery yet.



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