Beware the Potholes in Hervey Bay

It’s been a while since we’ve had such heavy rain as we’ve experienced over the last few days so it’s easy to forget that we always end up with a lot of damage to roads around Hervey Bay.

So for the next few days when you’re driving around Hervey Bay keep a lookout for potholes because the Council never seems to see them as a major concern.

While they may not swallow your car there are some big ones along Old Marybourough Road … near the High School … and along The Esplanade between Pialba and Torquay that will certainly damage your suspension.

Hervey Bay Roadworks

Roadworks in Hervey Bay seems to come in cycles … we can go for months or even years with little or no disruption due to roadworks and then things just go crazy.

Right now Main Street seems to be the street where it’s all happening with ongoing speed restrictions around the new intersection with the long-awaited bypass that will allow traffic to access Central Avenue and the expanding Stocklands shopping centre without negotiating the Boat Harbour Drive roundabout.

hervey-bay-roadworks-1

Further up Main Street work has commenced on the extension of Urraween Road that should link up with Boundary Road and give provide a more direct route from the hospital and parts of Urraween to Urangan and the airport.

Even further along Main Street the road is currently completely blocked at Chapel Road for traffic wanting to access Booral Road.

hervey-bay-roadworks-2

Of course there’s also the ongoing work on Urraween Road between the hospital and Old Maryborough Road and down on the Esplanade at Scarness there’s the work that’s supposed to take just six weeks to complete.

I wouldn’t be holding the Council to that timetable though … after two weeks all they’ve managed to do is dig a hole and pour some concrete right outside Whitney Mitchell Real Estate … and the work is supposed to extend right down to Lilliana’s Coffee Shop.

At the current rate of work it looks as though it’s going to take them months to complete that job.

Oh and then there’s the night work that’s going to be done on the Maryborough road around St Helens during August. Speed restrictions are already in place although no work seems to have been started just yet.

Road Conditions on the Fraser Coast

Back on December 29 … in the middle of all that rain … we had to take an unexpected trip from Hervey Bay to Ipswich and back. We knew that the highway was going to a bit of a mess but we weren’t expecting it to be quite as bad as what it was.

We encountered this sign just south of Maryborough

The other part of the sign read "... to Gympie" but that wasn't quite right.

The potholes certainly started just after we passed that sign but they almost disappeared once we crossed the boundary between the Fraser Coast Regional Council and Gympie Council and on the return journey all the potholes on the Gympie side of the border had been patched.

I guess that’s not surprising … we passed two patching crews in the Gympie part of the highway.

Sadly that wasn’t the case on the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s side of the border. On the return journey the potholes were worse and in one five kilometre stretch south of Tiaro we passed six cars pulled over on the side of the road so that the drivers could change tyres … some even had buckled rims.

Again I guess that’s not surprising … we didn’t see one patching crew at work on any of the roads we travelled over in the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s area.

These two photos are just a sample of the road conditions we encountered south of Maryborough and if the rain that the Bureau is forecasting comes … and you’re travelling down the Bruce Highway this weekend … we would suggest that you drive with care.

$10m Upgrade for Boat Harbour Drive Begins

Preliminary work has begun on a $10 million road upgrade to significantly improve peak-hour traffic flow and road safety in Hervey Bay.

Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt said a 1km section of Boat Harbour Drive between Hunter Street and McNally Street would be widened as part of a $2 million contract.

The work will be carried out by Neumann Contractors.

Mr Pitt said the upgrade would ensure Hervey Bay was ready for its future growth.

“This project will widen the road to four lanes, upgrade eight intersections and provide a new road surface suitable for the expected growth over the next 15 years,” Mr Pitt said.

“A new concrete pedestrian footpath will link existing council pathways between Banksia Park Drive and McNally Street, to the new signalised pedestrian crossing at Banksia Park Drive so pedestrians can cross safely.”

Member for Hervey Bay Andrew McNamara said roadworks would take place between Monday and Saturday from 7am to 6pm and were expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“This stretch of road already carries about 20,000 vehicles a day, 2000 of which are commercial in nature,” Mr McNamara said.

“Widening this section of Boat Harbour Drive will significantly improve capacity during peak hours and improve traffic flow for all road users. Improving road safety is a top priority for myself and the State Government.”

Mr McNamara said while the works would make a significant difference to road safety in Hervey Bay, it should be remembered that driver behaviour was a contributing factor in serious crashes.

“I ask motorists to slow down near these road work sites and observe all traffic signals and always drive to the conditions,” he said.

Traffic Delays Ahead

Get ready for some interesting traffic delays at the busiest roundabout in Hervey Bay. Yep work is about to start on something on the Boat Harbour Drive/Main Street roundabout.

Speed limits have already been reduced to 40km/h and traffic controllers have been seen and there are some unusual marks and numbers painted on the road surface that look rather ominous … and don’t the school holidays start next week?

Now that’s what I call planning!

Central Avenue Roadworks

The new traffic lights at the intersection of Central Avenue and Boat Harbour Drive in Hervey Bay are set to be turned on next Friday.

The lights and the associated roadworks are reported to have cost $1.7 million. It will be interesting to see how the new lights work for traffic coming down from the Main Street roundabout.

Changes to Boat Harbour Drive

The installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Boat Harbour Drive and Central Avenue here in Hervey Bay is now underway but that’s not the only change to Boat Harbour Drive that’s set to happen.

Funds were set aside in the last State budget for the widening of Boat Harbour Drive between Hunter Street and McNally Street (if you’re not sure where that is then this map will help you locate the area) and now the time to start spending those funds is drawing near.

Hervey Bay residents will have the chance to provide input into plans for the $10 million Boat Harbour Drive upgrade project, ahead of construction starting early next year.

Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt said the upgrade on Boat Harbour Drive between Hunter Street and McNally Street would cater for traffic growth in the area.

“Boat Harbour Drive is the city’s busiest road, with about 20,000 vehicles travelling along it each day,” Mr Pitt said.

“With Hervey Bay’s rising population, there is a need to cater for a growing amount of traffic using Boat Harbour Drive.”

Member for Hervey Bay and Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation Andrew McNamara said the project would involve resurfacing and widening the road to four lanes, as well as upgrading eight intersections.

“In addition, two new sets of traffic signals will be installed – at Taylor Street and Banksia Park Drive,” Mr McNamara said.

“A new concrete pedestrian footpath will link existing council pathways, between Banksia Park Drive and McNally Street, to the new signalised pedestrian crossing at Banksia Park Drive, ensuring pedestrians can cross Boat Harbour Drive safely.”

Mr McNamara said Main Roads’ public displays would be held at the Centro Shopping Centre, Hervey Bay Library and Hervey Bay City Council from now until 1 November.

“Staff will be at the Centro Shopping Centre on Saturday 27 October from 10am to 12pm and on Thursday 1 November from 11am to 2pm, to address any questions about the upgrade,” he said.

“The community’s input will assist Main Roads in completing the final road design before construction starts early next year.”

The public can also contact Main Roads on 1300 728 390.

 

Another Set of Traffic Lights for Hervey Bay

Last week two new sets of traffic lights on Boat Harbour Drive were announced in the State Budget but those aren’t the only new sets of  traffic lights that are coming to Hervey Bay.

Hervey Bay City Council has announced that it will be calling tenders in mid July for the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Queens Road and Torquay Road. That’s definitely an intersection that needs lights but will the lights lead to more people using Queens Road to access the Esplanade via an intersection that can be quite difficult to negotiate at times?

 

The Budget and Hervey Bay

The detail of the latest Queensland budget has now been released and the major impact for Hervey Bay will in road widening projects, the installation of new traffic lights, more contracts awarded to EDI Rail in Maryborough and an upgrade of the Buccaneer Pontoon at Urangan.

Boat Harbour Drive will be upgraded to 4 lanes between Hunter and McNally Streets and new traffic lights will be installed at the intersections with Taylor Street and Banksia Park Drive.

You will find a map here that plots those changes.

The Maryborough to Hervey Bay Road will also be upgraded with the sections between the Torbanlea turn-off and the Dundowran Road turn-off, and between the Dundowran turn-off and the Pialba to Burrum Heads turn off, widened to four lanes.

 

Making the Pialba to Burrum Heads Road Safer

Three intersections on Pialba to Burrum Heads Rd are being upgraded at a cost of $1.3 million after requests by locals for improvements to road safety and traffic flow.

Member for HerveyBay and Parliamentary Secretary for Main Roads Andrew McNamara today announced work is underway on upgrades to the Dundowran-Ansons Rd,Crawford Drand Karraschs-Sawmill Rd intersections.

“These are improvements demanded by the community, it has put the projects on the map and Main Roads is delivering.

“Residents called for the road works at a community meeting and while it was understood the upgrades wouldn’t happen overnight, I can give an undertaking the work will be finished within the timeframe set at the forum.

“Rest assured the intersection improvements are being delivered in the way the community wants them built.

“It means better traffic flow and increased safety for motorists and pedestrians.”

Mr McNamara said the intersection upgrades would be finished by the end of July.

Works will include:

·Auxiliary lanes and shielded turning lanes added at all three intersections

·Medians painted at Dundowran Rd and Ansons Rd

·Raised concrete islands and medians installed at Karraschs Rd and Sawmill Rd

“The speed limit has been temporarily lowered and there will be minor traffic delays with construction now in full swing.

“But the improvements to these intersections will be well worth the inevitable inconvenience of road works,” Mr McNamara said.