Accident corner of Bruce highway and Wide Bay highway.A WOMAN, 89, had to be airlifted to Sunshine Coast University Hospital in an induced coma, after being cut from a crashed vehicle at Bells Bridge.
Accident corner of Bruce highway and Wide Bay highway.A WOMAN, 89, had to be airlifted to Sunshine Coast University Hospital in an induced coma, after being cut from a crashed vehicle at Bells Bridge.

State silent on stalled fix of deadliest Gympie intersection

THE on again off again upgrade of a notorious Gympie intersection shows that the State

Transport Minister has no idea what he is doing, Gympie MP Tony Perrett said yesterday.

READ MORE: Perrett demands start date on $14 million fix to killer intersection

Mr Perrett asked the Minister a Parliamentary question about completion of design works and construction start date of the Bell’s Bridge intersection of the Bruce and Wide Bay Highways.

REVEALED: Gympie’s biggest crash zones in the past decade

“This week’s response said that design of a roundabout ‘is being finalised’, ‘tenders are expected to be sought in coming months’, and ‘construction is scheduled to commence later this year, weather permitting’, Mr Perrett said.

CRASH: Emergency crews attended a single vehicle crash on the Wide Bay Highway at Bells Bridge.
CRASH: Emergency crews attended a single vehicle crash on the Wide Bay Highway at Bells Bridge.

“It’s pathetic and full of weasel words.

“The language is as loose as can be.

“In January last year the Minister advised that investigations on an updated design were well underway.

“That’s 17 months ago.

Two people were when a car rolled on the Bruce Highway near Bells Bridge on Friday morning, causing highway traffic delays.
Two people were when a car rolled on the Bruce Highway near Bells Bridge on Friday morning, causing highway traffic delays.

“If the design had been going on then and it’s still not finished, it makes you wonder how long does it take to design an intersection?

“Otherwise last year’s advice was a cynical manipulative fob off.

“The department is incompetent, or the Minister is incompetent.

“This upgrade should have been completed by now.

Crash at Bells Bridge. Photo: Frances Klein
Crash at Bells Bridge. Photo: Frances Klein

“New design works was the last excuse to put off construction.

“The Federal committed $11.2 million of its share of the $14 million project in May 2017, more than three years ago.

“The money’s been sitting there for three years!

“All the state had to do was find its $2.8 million share to get the job done.

“A month later, on Budget Day in June 2017 the Minister advised that construction would start in late 2018.

Accident corner of Bruce highway and Wide Bay highway.A WOMAN, 89, was transported to Sunshine Coast University Hospital in an induced coma, after being cut from a crashed vehicle at Bells Bridge.
Accident corner of Bruce highway and Wide Bay highway.A WOMAN, 89, was transported to Sunshine Coast University Hospital in an induced coma, after being cut from a crashed vehicle at Bells Bridge.

“Two hours after receiving that letter the Departments’ Budget showed no specific allocation for the intersection upgrade meaning it would have to compete with every other road infrastructure project from here to Bundaberg.

“In those documents funding was pushed out four years to 2021-2022.

“They clearly never had the money and were trying to spin everyone along.

“The design still isn’t finished, they haven’t called tenders, no one has a contract, and construction will start by the end of this year, weather permitting.

A person is believed trapped in one of two vehicles involved in this crash at Bells Bridge.
A person is believed trapped in one of two vehicles involved in this crash at Bells Bridge.

“There should be no ‘get out of jail for free’ excuses.

“This has been a complete stuff up.

“If the Minister knew what he was doing it would have been finished more than 12 months ago.

“I always receive complaints about the intersection, about near misses, accidents, frustrated drivers taking risky action, traffic banking up, and not stopping.

“We will be lucky if this is completed by the end of next year.

“This is just spinning something that should have been completed by now.

Accident corner of Bruce highway and Wide Bay highway.A WOMAN, 89, has been transported to Sunshine Coast University Hospital in an induced coma, after being cut from a crashed vehicle at Bells Bridge this morning.
Accident corner of Bruce highway and Wide Bay highway.A WOMAN, 89, has been transported to Sunshine Coast University Hospital in an induced coma, after being cut from a crashed vehicle at Bells Bridge this morning.
Gympie Times


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