Police in Queensland have released a new image of the Highway 61 in the state’s north, showing the highway in its most dangerous condition in years.
Key points:The Highway 61 is now undergoing a major re-design to make it more appealing to motoristsThe image was taken at the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 8A near the town of Tarragona in South Queensland.
The image shows the highway with a number of areas in disrepair including an underpass, a tree line, a ditch and some damaged bridges.
Roads Queensland said the new road is currently the most congested in Queensland and has been the subject of major changes in recent years.
Road safety and design consultant Robert Langer said it was important to remember that many of the areas on the highway were damaged during the last major earthquake and tsunami in 2001.
“There’s a number that’s been demolished, a lot of the old structures that were there were blown away,” he said.
“The area of Highway 62 has been completely rebuilt and a lot more is being built up on the road to make the highway more suitable for all modes of traffic, for cars and for cyclists and pedestrians.”
Roads Minister Michael McCormack said the state was “still very much at the beginning stages of the rehabilitation of this road”.
“We’ve done some rehabilitation work and there’s more to come in terms of new construction, more work on existing roads,” he told ABC Radio Queensland.
“That will all continue over the next couple of years as we work through the design phase.”
“We’re also committed to making this road as safe as possible to ensure we’re making a long-term, long-lasting investment in the safety of our state road network.”
Road safety consultant Robert Crouch said the image showed how the road was now “very much at risk”.
“It’s still a very, very dangerous road,” he explained.
“You can see the damage to some of the bridges that are on the side of the road.”
A lot of these bridges are old, they’re cracked.
The old roads that we’ve rebuilt in the last couple of decades have got more cracks than before.
“The images were released by Roads Queensland to coincide with the State of Queensland Government’s annual highway safety report.
The report contains the latest statistics on road safety across Queensland, including highway conditions, accidents, road safety measures, road rehabilitation and the State Highway Trusts Road Safety Management Programme.
It also shows how the state is “now at the peak of the reconstruction phase of the highway” with the road now in a state of “excellent” condition.”
We have a lot to be proud of and we’re proud of the improvements that we have made over the last two years,” Mr McCormack told ABC radio.”
What we’ve done over the past 12 months has been phenomenal.””
Our road safety management is very much the focus for us at the moment.
“It has to be and will remain our priority and the priority of our whole Department of Roads.”