Queensland’s Palmerston Highway has reopened to all traffic including heavy vehicles.
The Palmerston Highway suffered significant landslips and pavement failures as a result of record rainfall associated with last December’s Tropical Cyclone Jasper.
The urgent works to open a single lane were jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and have been completed ahead of time.
Crews from the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) laid a fresh seal over a temporary track single lane between Crawford’s Lookout and Junction Road last week.
Works included excavating 4,200 tonnes of earth, installing 5,400 tonnes of rock and laying 1,500 tonnes of road base followed by 150 tonnes of asphalt.
TMR Minister, Bart Mellish, said crews have put in an enormous effort to finish and reopen the critical freight route.
“TMR understands the impact that damage to the Palmerston Highway has had on heavy vehicle operators, the agricultural sector and Tablelands residents and businesses,” he said.
“These works were conducted in a complex and challenging environment that included the only full width pavement slips on state-controlled roads in Far North District.
“The damage was significant – the entire hill with the road on it had sunk two metres and shifted two metres sidewards down the hill.”
Construction of the single lane section began on 8 January after the hill stopped moving and the ground had dried sufficiently to enable work to begin.
The new single lane will now accommodate all traffic including heavy vehicles.
According to Mellish, TMR will continue to investigate long term solutions for repairs to the Palmerston Highway.