Construction of a temporary single lane on the Palmerstown Highway began this week as recovery works forge ahead following severe flooding in Far North Queensland late last year.
The lane, which will run between Crawford’s Lookout and Junction Road, will accommodate heavy vehicles.
It will be open to traffic in mid-February, weather and site conditions in the coming weeks permitting.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish said TMR is aware of the impact the closure of the Palmerstown Highway is having on the road transport industry.
“The Palmerston Highway suffered significant damage, with major pavement slips occurring,” he said.
“This will unfortunately mean unavoidable long-term closures of this road to enable significant repairs.
“We understand the significant impact this is having on heavy vehicle operators and the agricultural industry, so in addition to providing temporary permits for an alternative route we are fast-tracking work to restore access on Palmerston Highway.
“TMR is continuing to investigate long-term solutions for repairs to Palmerston Highway.”
A “herculean” effort continues to clear the Captain Cook Highway of mud and debris following the floods that occurred when Cyclone Jasper hit Queensland last month.
The highway is scheduled to reopen between Ellis Beach and Port Douglas on January 20 at 8am, if weather and construction conditions allow.
Single lane closures and delays should be expected initially, and it is asked that only essential traffic travel along the route.