General News

11 January, 2024

Works underway to open highway

CONSTRUCTION of a temporary single-lane section began this week on the Palmerston Highway between Crawford’s Lookout and Junction Road.

Works underway to open highway - feature photo

The highway was significantly damaged by the December rain event, causing a major drop in the road surface.

The temporary single lane will be to accommodate heavy vehicles.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish said the damage to the highway would mean more unavoidable closures in the future.

“The Palmerston Highway suffered significant damage with major pavement slips occurring. This will unfortunately mean unavoidable long-term closures of this road to enable significant repairs,” he said.

“We understand the significant impact this is having on heavy vehicle operators and the agricultural industry, so in addition to providing temporary permits for an alternative route we are fast-tracking work to restore access on Palmerston Highway.

“Construction of a temporary single lane section has commenced on the Palmerston between Crawfords Lookout and Junction Road and will accommodate heavy vehicles.

“The single lane will be open to traffic in mid-February, weather and site conditions in coming weeks permitting.

“TMR is continuing to investigate long-term solutions for repairs to Palmerston Highway.

“Assistance will be provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA)”

Following a dedicated focus and significant effort from Department of Transport and Main Roads crews over the Christmas and New Year period, the Captain Cook Highway will also reopen between Ellis Beach and Port Douglas on Saturday 20 January at 8am.

Single lane closures should be expected for an initial time period. Motorists should expect delays and plan their journey.

To assist crews working on this part of the highway it is important that only essential travel is undertaken along this route.

Mr Mellish said an enormous amount of debris had been removed.

“Approximately 30,000 tonnes of mud and debris have been removed from the road,” he said.

“There are over 15 trucks and heavy vehicles working on the site making about 100 trips each day to dispose of the debris.

“We have approximately 100 personnel and 65 pieces of machinery on site, including personnel from 10 local civil and construction companies.”


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