A MULTI-million road improvement package will fix problem wet weather spots and build more resilient roads in northern parts of the Douglas Shire.
Douglas Shire Council was successful in securing $10.3 million under the 2019 Betterment program for improvement works on the Cape Tribulation Bloomfield Road and Zig Zag Road.
The 2019 Betterment program is a joint Australian Government and Queensland Government fund to repair and provide more resilient essential public infrastructure damaged by monsoons early last year.
A key driver for the works is to improve access for Wujal Wujal and Degarra residents, as well as increasing transportation resilience for travellers after wet weather.
Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said some design and construction tenders would be released shortly.
“Council is proud to receive this multi-million-dollar funding and deliver a series of projects that will see economic benefits for local businesses and provide improved access for Wujal Wujal,” he said.
“On a recent trip to Degarra, I travelled up the Cape Tribulation-Bloomfield Road and along Zig Zag Road, where I saw the steep slopes and rugged areas which can be difficult to navigate after wet weather.
“The improvement works will reduce the need for continual maintenance, saving ratepayers in the long run, and allow the roads to re-open quicker after floodwaters have subsided.”
The three projects which improvement works will be delivered across are:
- Donovan Range – $3.9 million – sections of Donovan Range are in excess of 25% grade and pose continual maintenance and disaster related issues. Council will undertake minor earthworks, stormwater drainage and rigid pavement construction upgrades – similar to work done on the Cowrie Range in 2018. The design has been completed and contractors are expected on site in April 2021.
- Zig Zag Road – $3.297 million – Sections of Zig Zag Road are in excess of 20% grade and pose continual maintenance and disaster related issues. Council will undertake minor earthworks, crossroad stormwater drainage, table drainage and rigid pavement improvements. The design is expected to be completed by January 2021, with contractors on site by May 2021.
- Cape Tribulation-Bloomfield Rd – $3.495 million – improvement to problematic sections of the road, an upgrade to Panican Creek culvert and pavement upgrades adjacent to Woobadda Creek and Pierce’s Hill. The design is expected to be completed by January 2021, with contractors on site by May 2021.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the new projects would add resilience to the area.
He said a key driver for the works is to improve access for Wujal Wujal and Degarra residents, as well as increasing resilience for travellers after wet weather.
“We know that in the future we will be hit with extreme weather more frequently, so it is important that we invest in the resilience of our communities,” Mr Entsch said.
“This announcement is great news for the residents of Douglas Shire, as well as the visitors to the region, and will help our local businesses get back on their feet.”
Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Steven Miles said that in addition to better protecting communities, the Betterment program is creating more jobs in the regions.
“The Betterment program is an important step toward achieving our goal of making Queensland the most disaster-resilient state in Australia,” Mr Miles said.
“We are committed to helping councils build stronger infrastructure.
“These projects will also help generate more employment for Queenslanders and their families at a time when people are still struggling with the economic impact of COVID-19.
“Doing that while improving safety in regional Queensland is a win-win.”
Roads will remain open throughout construction, however there will be times when one lane is closed and traffic control will be in place.