TRAFFIC will be able to escape the flooded confines of Gympie six-10 hours earlier, saving millions of dollars in lost revenue, once the $640,000 upgrade of River Rd is finished.
Road crews have been busy at work for close to two weeks, widening and raising 140m of River Rd near the Central Shopping Centre.
Once finished, Bruce Hwy traffic, including B-doubles, will be able to move through Gympie in times of flood via Centro Way, River Rd, Graham St and Tin Can Bay Rd.
As flood levels recede to about 16m the route will become accessible 6-10 hours before the Deep Creek (Inglewood) Bridge opens on the Bruce Hwy and just after the other flood prone locations on the highway south of Gympie are open, Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett said yesterday.
In the January 2011 floods, the highway south of Gympie was closed for five days. Floods in January and February 2013 closed the highway for a total of six days.
The Bruce Hwy carries 15,000 to 20,000 vehicles a day through Gympie. Heavy commercial vehicles make up 18 % of this traffic.
An analysis by the AEC Group has put the economic cost of the Bruce Hwy closures at $5.4 million per day, or $225,000 per hour. The same report identifies that up to 17% of all jobs are reliant on highway access.
The availability of a suitable route that would allow highway traffic to start moving 6-10 hours earlier would provide an average economic of $1.8 million for each flood.
The project will be finished in mid-October.
Mathematics of a flood
- The economic cost of Bruce Hwy closure at Gympie is $5.4m a day or $225,000 an hour
- Opening the highway 6-10 hours earlier will save $1.8m per flood;
- Over 30 years the net value of raising River Rd at Centro Way is $11.5m.