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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Crews dig in to reconnect Far North communities

More than 650 kilometres of state-controlled roads have been reopened in the Far North District following catastrophic flooding in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Jasper.

In a massive effort by road crews, thousands of tonnes of flood debris and landslips have been cleared, roads reconstructed, and hundreds of geotechnical, bridge and culverts inspections completed to ensure safety of motorists, said Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Bart Mellish.

“Our hearts are with the people of North Queensland as they continue recovery efforts following a once in 100-year flood event,” he said.

“The flooding caused catastrophic damage to the state-controlled road network in the Far North.

“On Monday (18 December) following the event all roads into the Far North were closed, all four range crossings providing access to the Northern Tablelands were closed and there was no road access to Cooktown or Port Douglas.

“In a massive effort our crews have worked tirelessly to inspect, repair and open over 650 kms of road in just four days.

“There are some roads including the range section of Palmerston Highway and the Captain Cook Highway between Buchans Point and Oak Beach that have suffered significant damage and will face extended closures.”

The Minister said crews made good progress on Thursday, clearing some of the landslip on Captain Cook Highway at Oak Beach. A 300-tonne boulder on the road was also demolished yesterday to allow for its removal.

“On the Palmerston Highway crews have commenced clearing large trees and debris on the road. It is estimated clearing will be completed by Sunday, allowing access to our geotechnical engineer,” said Mr Mellish.

“Once the Palmerston Highway site has been assessed we will be in a better position to understand the timeframe for repairing the road.

“I’d like to thank our dedicated TMR road crews for working around the clock to get these vital roads back up and running.

“As you prepare to travel over the Christmas season, we ask that you drive to conditions and plan your journey.”

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