Imbil police Sgt Terry Kennedy says more truck crashes, like the ones on the Mary Valley Hwy recently, will occur if the edges of the road aren’t fixed.
Imbil police Sgt Terry Kennedy says more truck crashes, like the ones on the Mary Valley Hwy recently, will occur if the edges of the road aren’t fixed. Craig Warhurst

Cop calls Valley road 'disgusting'

THE state of the Mary Valley Hwy since it was repaired after the January floods has officer-in-charge of Imbil Police Station Sergeant Terry Kennedy wondering “How you can build a road like that, I do not know”.

In the wake of two truck accidents within two weeks along a two-kilometre road stretch, Sgt Kennedy spoke with Main Roads and Gympie Regional Council.

He said while a 70km speed sign had been erected, the road was still “disgusting”.

Sgt Kennedy said the highway was an “extremely high traffic area” used by trucks, school buses and motorists.

“There were a lot of gravel trucks coming out of the quarry because they were doing Camp Kerr,” he said.

“There are log trucks and other trucks – I’d say easy 50 trucks a day use the road and the school bus runs through here.

“It’s also a high traffic road for people going from the highway to Imbil.”

Sgt Kennedy said one of the main problems was that drivers relied on the fog lines but, along this stretch of road, the road disappeared and dropped along the line.

“A timber truck tried to get back on the road and ended up rolling, which closed the road for about six hours,” he said.

“The other was a lime truck and he just rode it out and ended up in the paddock with a twisted chassis.”

He said the base of the road could easily be knocked away with a boot and there was nowhere to pull over safely.

In the aftermath of two truck accidents, officer-in-charge of Imbil Police Station Sergeant Terry Kennedy said a two-kilometre stretch of the Mary Valley Highway “needs to be widened and have a shoulder on it”.

Speaking after his June 3 accident along that road, truck driver Graham Kirkwood said there was no shoulder on the road so the trailer was pulled down the embankment.

Going downhill, his 19-tonne load of pine planks, destined for Brisbane, shifted and caused the whole vehicle to roll one-and-a-half times.

The cab of the prime mover was crushed.

It came to rest with the driver’s side hard against the road, and all 22 tyres on the truck and trailer were pointed sky-ward.

“I don’t understand how they can build a road like that. If somebody gets a flat tyre, they can’t change it on that angle. It should have been built to a better standard,” Sgt Kennedy said.

Apart from the fact the road drops away suddenly from the fog line, taking part of that line with it, the embankment is so soft that a human sinks into it.

Sgt Kennedy said the road needed to be widened with a shoulder.

Gympie Regional Council works committee chairman Cr Larry Friske said road between the centre line and the fog line should be enough for two vehicles to pass “without any problem” but said we would need to speak to Main Roads.

A Main Roads spokeswoman said The Gympie Times’ questions would be answered today.

Gympie Times


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