Engineer says highway is critical
IS IT too much to ask that the Bruce Highway should be of a standard befitting a national highway?
So just what is the true condition of the state of the Bruce Highway and what factor does the highway play in fatalities and accidents?
RACQ engineer Greg Miszkowycz has been travelling the highways of Queensland in an attempt to figure this out.
RACQ have been working in conjunction with Main Roads to undertake a joint assessment of the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns.
“To prevent accidents we need safer drivers, safer vehicles and safer roads,” Mr Miszkowycz said.
“An ideal highway has overtaking lanes every ten minutes and is nine metres wide,” he said.
The 9m width consists of a 7m wide road, made up of two lanes 3.5m each and 1m of shoulder on either side.
There should also be clear zones on either side of the highway that include 8m–10m of no trees or obstacles and designated rest areas every 30–60 minutes.
“Drivers need to responsible as well and take a break every two hours and not drive more than eight to 10 hours a day,” he said.
He said the Federal Government need to commit to a ten year plan to upgrade the Bruce Highway.
“It is in a pretty poor condition compared to highways in some other states.”
Queensland has the largest network of roads in kilometres, and probably the poorest.
“There has been no improvement on a lot of Queensland highways in many years, just maintenance,” he said.
RACQ statistics show that there could be up to 350 deaths and 5000 casualties on Queensland roads in the next ten years if the highways are not upgraded.
“We don’t need a dual highway all the way from Brisbane to Cairns as there is not a big enough volume of traffic for that, just more overtaking lanes and median barriers,” he said.
“The highway is not meeting criteria and should be better but it all comes down to a lack of funding.”
“There is a backlog of road safety measures and it will only get worse as the population booms,” Mr Miszkowycz said.
He said he would give the Bruce Highway a three out of five star rating but it should be a four star.