Road repairs continue after flood damage

Backwater Creek, New England Highway - flooding aftermath. Main Roads is responsible for fixing damage. Picture: Emily-Rose Toohey

By Emily-Rose Toohey

In the aftermath of flooding across the region, roads have been damaged and council is taking action to rectify this.

As part of council’s road maintenance schedule, works to resurface a section of road on Wood, Lyons and Pratten Streets will commence on Monday 30 May between 6.00pm and 6.00am, weather permitting.

Council’s Director Infrastructure Services Gary Murphy said that while restoring the region’s flood damaged roads was a priority, keeping on top of the existing schedule of upgrade works was equally important to road safety.

“Our region’s road network received a battering from the latest flood event and our crews are prioritising repairs,” Gary said.

“However, road improvements and upgrades must also continue and progress in the background so that our region can prosper.”

He said that during construction, local traffic will operate under single lane conditions and on-street parking will not be available.

“The safety of road users and our staff during construction is paramount and following the directions of on-site officers and signage will go a long way to keeping the site incident-free,” Gary said.

“Local residents in the area will still have access to and from their properties and council staff will endeavour to minimise disruptions for road users where possible.”

Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) Mayor Vic Pennisi said that the road situation is complex.

“The Queensland Reconstruction Authority pays for the work that is damaged by a flood or weather event,” Cr Pennisi said.

“The first instance is fixing emergent work and there’s 3000km of road we have to cover – we can only do so many a day.”

However, Cr Pennisi said this was not the only problem council has been facing regarding roads.

“There’s major damage all over the region and even work that was damaged in 2020 that hasn’t been repaired,” he said.

“It takes time to sort out, and then it will rain again – we don’t have the capacity.”

Cr Pennisi said SDRC has been engaging with other levels of government for assistance.

“The roads are constantly getting buggered up from rain events and it’s a challenge to do regular maintenance,” he said.

Coinciding with the floods, last week was National Road Safety Week with the slogan, ‘pledge to drive so others survive’.

Warwick Police acting officer-in-charge Sergeant Cameron Slater said he advises people to take time when travelling, drive to the conditions, and be aware of any damage.

“Especially in the aftermath of flooding,” Sergeant Slater said.

Similarly, Cr Pennisi said driving to conditions is imperative as the roads are not going to get fixed quickly.

“If you find yourself in trouble, reach out to council or the SES,” he said.