Median strip to stop head-ons
DEPARTMENT of Main Roads District Director for Gympie Lawry O’Brien confirmed yesterday there would be no extra overtaking provisions once a painted median strip was installed down the middle of the Bruce Highway from the Cooroy Southern interchange to the Wide Bay Highway intersection north of Gympie.
“The Federal Government is not going to fund more overtaking lanes (when they are building a highway bypass),” he said.
Night work on the 45km median strip is set to start in September and finish by Christmas, weather permitting.
Mr O’Brien told councillors at a Gympie Regional Council Works and Services Committee meeting the median strip “philosophy” would move traffic further apart and there was statistical evidence showing it would improve safety by reducing the likelihood of head-on collisions.
To accommodate the $2.2 million median strip (about one-metre wide), the north and south-bound lanes of the highway will be reduced from a width of three-and-a-half metres, to three metres.
Once installed, it will be illegal for motorists to cross the median to overtake, but they can cross the strip to enter or leave the road and access properties.
In the department’s view, there are few opportunities to overtake legally on the highway in between current designated overtaking lanes.
The median strip will include reflective pavement markers and audio-tactile lines, which cause vibration and a buzzing noise when driven on.
Mr O’Brien also told councillors the department was unlikely to ever relax the 90km speed limit enforced along the Bruce Highway from Cooroy to Curra.