Major $1.8m Matilda plan revealed
THE Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads has revealed its $1.8 million plan to make the notorious Matilda intersection safer.
This follows “interim improvements” late last week, restoring the Matilda service station exit to its former design, after an apparently disastrous modification in 2008.
Safety campaigners say the 2008 relocation appears to have made it more dangerous and may have contributed to the death of young local man Brad Garard.
However, the department yesterday told The Gympie Times that the intersection had always met the Australian Standard, as outlined in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
Shifting the sign and line back to their original position followed “an investigation which identified some adjustments to the traffic island would allow the stop line to be moved forward to give a minor safety improvement to visibility and safety”.
A spokesperson said the 2008 change had been “to keep motorists waiting to exit the service station clear of vehicles turning into the service station from the highway and to optimise drivers’ lines of sight to the left and right”.
Safety campaigners yesterday rejected any suggestions that the 2008 change had improved visibility, claiming the change was a dangerous error which greatly reduced driver vision.
The aerial view (above) is what the department has in mind, according to a letter it has sent to Mr Garard’s mother Lesley Carlson.
It features a totally redesigned southern entry to the service station to give drivers a clear view of north-bound through traffic as they exit the service station to travel straight ahead or south.