THE new median strip Federal Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese announced would go along the Bruce Highway between Cooroy and Gympie was a hot topic yesterday for Gympie Region councillors.
At the Works and Services meeting held yesterday, council’s Director of Engineering Services Bob Fredman reported that council had requested “enquiries be made of the Department of Transport and Main Roads regarding the rumoured Bruce Highway median”.
During a meeting held on April 28, Mr Fredman was advised the median strip would be installed on much of the 90kmh section of the highway and full details of the project would be released to council and the public soon.
The department told Mr Fredman rumble strips would be installed on each side of the median and turning from/to entrances across the median would be permitted.
But, when the safety initiative was announced in March, Mr Albanese’s spokesperson said there would be no overtaking allowed over the median and there would be no extra overtaking lanes installed.
The spokesperson said the median strip was an immediate measure to help stop head-on crashes while the Gympie by-pass was still under construction.
During yesterday’s meeting, councillors agreed that much of the road was not wide enough for a median strip.
Cr Jan Watt said increasing non-passing areas could lead to added frustration on the road.
But Cr Larry Friske countered this, saying the chances of passing were now “virtually nil”.
Supporting Cr Watt, Cr Graham Engeman said he wouldn’t like to see any less overtaking opportunities.
The median strip, which will extend about 45kms, is part of a $24 million package that the Federal Government announced would fix 35 black spots on the Bruce Highway between Caboolture and Cairns.