27 July, 2023
Travel times to reduce with new overtaking lanes
A NEW overtaking lane for northbound traffic will be created south of Vicary Road as one of three to be established, funded by $8.5 million in the 2022-23 State Budget.
Member for Hill Shane Knuth confirmed the commitment from the State, revealing for the first time, where one of the three overtaking lanes between Mareeba and Ravenshoe will go.
Commuters have been demanding more overtaking lanes for many years and were damning of recent upgrades to the Kennedy Highway between Atherton and Mareeba for the lack of passing opportunities.
Mr Knuth said the announcement of funding was long overdue and was a good example of how “people power” could work.
“This is great news and I believe this is a community driven project after numerous constituents raised their concerns over the lack of overtaking lanes not being included in the widening of the Kennedy Highway, between Atherton and Mareeba,” he said.
“Because of the community’s push, we have three new overtaking lanes which will be constructed between Mareeba and Ravenshoe.
“I would also like to acknowledge Transport and Main Roads (TMR) for their support to get this over the line.”
Mr Knuth said TMR had confirmed that one of the overtaking lanes would be created on the northbound lane south of Vicary Road, Mareeba, but the locations of the other two were yet to be confirmed.
Tablelands Regional Council Division 6 Cr Bernie Wilce said any upgrade to intersections, roads or highways, especially overtaking lanes, increased the safety of all road users.
Taking into account his 40 years of wearing a blue uniform, Cr Wilce believes impatience on the road causes a lot of fatalities and incidents.
“Any upgrade to a highway, particularly the inclusion of more overtaking lanes so that overtaking can be done safely, is a great benefit to the whole community,” he said.
Natural Choice Early Learning Family Daycare manager Christopher Gueho said he had been campaigning to get upgrades to the road for a number of years.
“Our office is on the Kennedy Highway, and we have two staff members who live and commute from Mareeba to work every day,” he said.
“They find it very dangerous at times with people overtaking on double lines as people get frustrated with slow drivers and large trucks.
“These overtaking lanes will be a great improvement however more upgrades need to be considered for Grove Street and Golf Links Road where there is a lot of congestion.
“I live on Golf Links Road and that intersection is particularly bad.”