Boom gates design not yet finalised

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

EIGHT months after they were approved by Gladstone City Council, the boom gates at the Witney Street rail crossing have not been designed.

Three years ago local man Joe Rogers was killed at the crossing, prompting urgent calls for the boom gates. But nearly one year after the gates were approved, the urgency seems to have waned.

Council is becoming increasingly frustrated with the delays and is calling on Queensland Rail (QR) to get on with it.

'It's just ridiculous,' said Councillor Matt Burnett who was one of the biggest advocates for the boom gates' installation.

Council approved the allocation of $120,000 at last year's budget deliberation for the boom gates.

In August Council wrote to QR asking that if Council paid for the installation of the Witney Street boom gates, QR installed boom gates at the adjacent Mercury Street crossing.

Council is responsible for funding the Witney Street boom gates due to a historical agreement with QR. All other boom gates are QR's responsibility.

Council infrastructure services director Stuart Doak said it took QR until November to respond that it would not install boom gates at Mercury Street.

Council was also quoted $150,000 for the boom gates' installation by QR and asked that as it was above the funds allocated, would QR cover the shortfall, however again QR declined the request.

Council responded immediately asking QR to proceed with design and costing for the Witney Street crossing, but as yet no final figures or design have been received.

Cr Burnett said the longevity of the project was frustrating because of the safety concerns about the crossing.

QR spokeswoman Leah Hornibrook said the process was taking longer than had been expected and apologised for the delay.



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