Pumicestone Road overpass truck crash solution

Farm Fantastic director Lance Blatchford at the entrance to the Pumicestone Road overpass. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News
Farm Fantastic director Lance Blatchford at the entrance to the Pumicestone Road overpass. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News Vicki Wood

A TRUCK may have crashed into the Pumicestone Rd overpass for the last time.

High priority upgrade works will start soon on the 4.5m high Nev Nicholls Bridge at Elimbah.

Lance Blatchford lives nearby and said he was all for the upgrades.

"Because of the number of times the bridge has been hit, it's certainly not before time," he said.

"It's a great improvement for the area."

The upgrade will provide a two lane overpass, with an improved 6.5m clearance over the Bruce Hwy.

Mr Blatchford said he could recall quite a few times when trucks had hit the bridge.

"We've probably been diverted because it's been hit half a dozen times in the last three or four years," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Minister for Transport and Main Roads said the upgrade would allow high-load vehicles to remain on the highway, without having to detour. She said it would provide critical freight safety and efficiency benefits.

"The Pumicestone Rd interchange has always been the highest priority, due to significant safety issues at the interchange," she said.

"A significant bridge strike could result in the highway being closed for a prolonged period and there is also a high crash rate at the interchange entry and exit ramps."

Future works, such as widening the overpass would be considered for federal funding and weighed against other priorities on the national network.

The minister's spokeswoman said construction timeframes were still to be determined. But she said work was expected to begin by mid-2013 and take about 18 months to complete.

The project is part of a $195m Federal Government commitment to upgrade interchanges on the Bruce Hwy between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

Topics:  federal government minister for transport and main roads pumicestone road

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