18 November, 2022
Funding hopes hit a pothole
Although the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) finalised its business case for Oakey - Pittsworth Road in June, no funding has been allocated to upgrade three flood-prone sections of the road.
A TMR spokesperson said the road had been identified as a key freight route on the Darling Downs and developed a business case for upgrades.
“This important section provides Type 1 Road Train access between the Warrego Highway and Gore Highway,” the spokesperson said.
“It has been identified as requiring widening and strengthening to support several agricultural industries which rely on the road to transport cattle and grain.”
The business case focussed on 10 kilometres of particularly flood-prone sections at Motley, Mount Tyson, Rossvale and Springside:
•1.4km section between Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Rd and Motley-Linthorpe Rd
•1.4km section between Motley-Linthorpe Rd and Cronin Rd
•7.5km section between Cronin Rd and Irongate Rd.
In addition to agricultural needs, the road is also often used by people from Oakey to travel to Pittsworth and along the Gore Highway to Goondiwindi and into New South Wales.
The TMR spokesperson said during the business case development, feedback was sought from the Oakey, Pittsworth and Aubigny communities plus surrounding areas to identify potential improvements.
Community suggestions included turning lanes at key intersections, and improved signs and line-marking.
Heavy vehicle drivers suggested road widening would significantly improve safety.
The business case was completed in June with recommendations to widen the road, flatten roadside batters, remove roadside hazards, and improve signs and line-marking.
Since then the road has been swamped by substantial rainfall, causing multiple closures and damage.
“Oakey - Pittsworth Road has been affected by floods this year, particularly between Motley-Linthorpe Road and Cronin Road,” the spokesperson said.
“We have undertaken emergency works and continue to repair safety defects, including pothole patching.
“Roads across the Darling Downs have become more prone to failure due to flooding, and as Oakey-Pittsworth Road carries a large volume of heavy vehicles this damage has been exacerbated.
“The road strengthening suggested in the business case would reduce the damage caused during floods.”
The business case cost $250,000, fully funded under the Queensland Government’s State Road Network Upgrade program.