Triple road trains waiting to enter Townsville Port now have a new waiting area just outside the gates and the much anticipated facility includes toilets and a shaded area.
The $4.5 million truck staging area officially opened on September 10 providing safer access for the 300,000 trucks that pass through the port gates each year.
Up to 20 triple road trains can assemble just outside the main gates on Benwell Road at any one time, easing congestion and improving safety on surrounding roads.
Previously they had to wait at a heavy vehicle inspection and trailer hook up area 5km away along the Port Access Road.
A small number would even park beside the Reclaimed Land Road near the port gates.
The new purpose built 13,000 square metre combined truck-trailer lay-up area has been under construction for some months.
It provides comforts for truck drivers including toilet amenities and shaded outdoor rest areas.
Queensland Trucking Association CEO Gary Mahon said he was pleased the port was providing a welcoming place for truck drivers where they can safely wait while vessels are loading.
“The safe and efficient operations of our Ports is vital to ensure export markets can continue to grow. This development will increase productivity and provide comforts to truck drivers who have been essential in keeping Queensland moving and industries operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mahon said.
Port of Townsville acting chief infrastructure officer Anton van Staden said the new truck staging area would reduce congestion on port roads, to improve efficiencies with increasing trade and cargo.
“Around 300,000 truck movements are recorded at the port each year, with much of the cargo handled through the port transported via road,” he said.
“During vessel loading trucks have queued along Port roads for extended periods, disrupting traffic and posing potential safety risks. This new truck staging area will significantly reduce congestion, thereby improving safety and the ease of cargo movements.”
Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said upgrading the Port of Townsville and its facilities was essential.
“The port is a key part of the city and a major economic driver which is why the new truck staging area is important. This project will help increase efficiency at the Port of Townsville which is a key part of our economic recovery from Covid-19,” Walker said.
The area, which is in the process of being landscaped, caters for the breakdown and reassembly of road trains as required.
Only port authorised trucks will be allowed to access the facility, which includes lighting and surveillance cameras monitored by Port security.
Local company RMS Engineering and Construction undertook the works, which generated 16 full-time jobs and provided employment for local tradies throughout the construction period.