Councillor backs MP's call for Calliope intersection upgrade
CALLIDE MP Colin Boyce has called for funding left over from a Dawson Highway bridge program to be spent on upgrading a Calliope roadway.
Mr Boyce said the intersection of the Dawson Highway and Drynan Dr, near Calliope Bowls Club, was a "pressure point" for the town and children's safety was at risk as it was a popular spot for them to cross the highway.
There is no officially marked pedestrian crossing at the intersection, though there is a path built into traffic islands where people cross.
"At peak hour, that particular area becomes heavily congested - it's a real safety issue," Mr Boyce said.
"There's no marked crossing and there's no bus shelter there for the kids if it's raining.
"There is a combination of works that need to be done."
Mr Boyce said he had seen figures that put the cost of a comprehensive upgrade for the intersection - including traffic lights - at about $3 million.
He suggested that money could come from $14 million in funding leftover from bridge works completed by Golding Contractors earlier this year.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said in July the State Government was looking to reinvest those savings in the Dawson Highway.
Mr Boyce said he had spoken with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and officials had told him the suggestion was being considered.
Mr Boyce's calls were backed by Gladstone Region councillor Peter Masters, who said the proposed intersection upgrade had the support of the council.
"They can't just put a pedestrian crossing there, because there's an overtaking lane as you come up the hill and it wouldn't be visible," he said.
"So the safe way is to install traffic lights at the intersection.
"With the high school opening in 2020, there's going to be more kids there ... and the town is only going to grow."
Cr Masters said the current situation with no clear marking meant children were sometimes put at risk by well-meaning drivers slowing to let them cross - with no guarantee drivers coming in the other direction would do the same.
"(Traffic lights) will help reduce waiting times and it will make it safer for people in cars and for pedestrians," he said.