Truckies can expect intermittent delays of up to 30 minutes when travelling through Cunninghams Gap from Monday, October 9 to Friday, December 8, warns Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).
The potential hold-ups are due to repair work by TMR and contractor McIlwain Civil Engineering on a 2km section of the Cunningham Highway that was extensively damaged in the 2019 bushfires.
The work will take place between the hours of 6am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
Further traffic changes can be expected throughout the project including in early 2024, with 24-hour, seven-day-a-week stop/slow traffic conditions for up to three months.
From February to July 2023, TMR said extensive engagement was undertaken with the freight, agriculture, livestock, tourism and construction industries, local businesses, and neighbouring communities to gain a deeper understanding into travel movements through the Gap.
“Community and stakeholder feedback has been so important in this process and has been incorporated into a review of the project design and construction methods,” said Queensland’s Transport Minister Mark Bailey.
“We want to reduce the impact on communities and industry as we deliver these critical repairs.
“My department has also worked with the trucking industry on their specific needs to help mitigate travel delays through project design changes.”
Key features of the project, to be constructed by mid-2025, include:
- Scaling and stabilising the slope above the road to reduce the risk of rockfalls.
- Rockfall protection systems:
– About 20,000m² of rockfall protection mesh to be installed on the upslope.
– Over 1km of fencing at the bottom of the slope to catch falling rocks.
- Retaining walls on the downslope to enable sufficient carriageway width to install upslope catch fencing.
- Replacing and constructing additional concrete barriers.
- Major reconstruction works at the Gap cutting.
- Guardrail with rubrail to protect motorcycle riders from impacts with posts.
- Wide centre line treatment to increase separation of opposing traffic.
- Constructing an emergency stopping bay 1km before the Alan Cunningham monument.
- Pavement works to restore the surface of the highway.
- Technology to monitor geotechnical systems that will provide real time data of potential large scale rock displacement.
- Work around the Main Range National Park carpark to maintain safety of highway traffic, visitors to the Gap crest and pedestrians.
- Scaling and stabilisation works will continue over the coming months on the slope above the road. This work will be undertaken by highly skilled rope access technicians.
Following this work, the removal of the 18 shipping containers will begin, added TMR.
While most work associated with the removal will be undertaken behind the safety barriers, intermittent traffic holds will be required for large machinery to safely remove and transport these shipping containers. The shipping containers will be replaced by fencing.
Activities to be undertaken below the road in the coming months include vegetation removal, earthworks, drainage and construction of retaining walls.
“We thank all drivers and local residents for their feedback and patience while we repair Cunninghams Gap,” Bailey added.