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The Bruce Hwy is our road to hell: Truckie

NOT HAPPY: Tow truck driver Anthony Dow knows all to well how bad the Bruce Hwy is. Photo Declan Cooley / The Observer
NOT HAPPY: Tow truck driver Anthony Dow knows all to well how bad the Bruce Hwy is. Photo Declan Cooley / The Observer Declan Cooley

THE 1,700kms of cold hard bitumen that makes up the Bruce Hwy has been named and shamed by road users as the state's most dangerous and problematic road.

Tow truck driver and repairer Anthony Dow said you only had to listen to truckies on the UHF to know how bad the highway was.

"All it has to do is rain for a couple of hours and you get potholes forming on the road," Mr Dow said.

"I can guarantee if the roadwork finished today, and we got three inches of rain, the road would be ruined by tomorrow."

Read more: QLD's top 10 most dangerous roads named and shamed

As a truck and car repairer Mr Dow said he always had customers coming in with blown out tyres and bent rims from hitting potholes on the Bruce Hwy.

Mr Dow said the worst sections of the Bruce Hwy in the Gladstone region was between Gin Gin and Miriam Vale, and Bajool and Rockhampton.

"The other thing about the road is that it's rough, which makes people slow down and that irritates the hell out of truck drivers," he said.

At Mr Dow's repair shop a blown out truck tyre would set you back $800.

"All you have to do is look at my truck tyres to see the cracks and chunks of rubber missing because of the road," he said.

RACQ executive general manager Paul Turner said the Unroadworthy Roads Survey, which nominated the Bruce Hwy as the worst in the state, looked at more than 400 local, state and federal roads.

"The biggest safety bugbear by far is rough road surfaces, followed by too-narrow roads or traffic lanes, poor road shoulders and roads prone to flooding," he said.

"Unsurprisingly the Bruce Hwy tops the list of the most complained about roads; nominated for rough, narrow conditions, congestion, and sections which are constantly cut off by floodwater."

The most recent data from Transport and Main Roads showed the Bruce Hwy was the region's number one crash zone, with 549 smashes recorded between 2001 and 2013.

However, Gladstone sergeant Nick Lindholm said the highway could be in a lot worse condition.

"The highway is a lot better than it was," Sgt Lindholm said.

"The old pothole areas aren't as bad as they used to be and they've put a lot of money into upgrades like the overtaking lanes at Calliope which has alleviated a lot of stress in the area," he said.

But he said the point police wanted drivers to take home was to stay patient while driving and not to speed.

"Drivers have to remember the speed limit on the Bruce Hwy is 100km/h," Sgt Lindholm said.

"The road was atrocious when I first got here and it has gotten better but there's still a lot of improvements to be done."

Although Anthony Dow didn't have all the answers, he thought a bit of cement could do the trick.

The Top 5

1. Bruce Highway

2. Pacific Motorway

3. Mount Lindesay Highway

4. Captain Cook Highway

Topics:  bruce hwy, dangerous, road




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