IN WHAT is sure to be good news for truckies, a contract to design the flood proofing of the notorious Blakey's Crossing in north Queensland has been awarded.
At a full Townsville City Council meeting in late June, the Blakey's Crossing design contract was awarded at a cost of $110,000 to multi-national AECOM, which will include the hydraulics study and concept plan for the $24 million project.
The Queensland Government has pledged to fully fund flood proofing works for the road which is on the northern approaches to Townsville.
It floods and is closed to traffic after even a small amount of rain and is situated beside swamps which are part of the Bohle River overflow system.
Blakey's Crossing used to be part of the Bruce Hwy until Woolcock St was flood proofed and replaced it.
However Blakey's Crossing is still an important alternative and hundreds of truckies use it daily.
Townsville City Councillor Pat Ernst, who is a former transport operator and transport spokesman, applauded the news.
"I think the awarding of the contract for hydraulic study and concept plans for the flood proofing of Blakey's Crossing is a giant leap forward," Cr Ernst told Big Rigs.
"Residents of the northern beaches and the multitudes of truck operators based at the Bohle have been long suffering by the congestion, at the Mather St and Woolcock St intersections, brought on by lengthy flooding disruptions."
He said upon completion, the hours of delays and lost time due to road closures will be a thing of the past.
"This result has certainly made the rallies for the upgrade worthwhile," he said.
"Leading the charge was local Federal Member Ewan Jones and ultimately delivered by the honourable David Crisafulli MP.
"People power highlighted what was a commonsense solution to a much-needed upgrade."
There had been several public rallies in a bid to lobby politicians to provide the money needed to fix up Blakey's Crossing, with statistics revealing 10,000 vehicles a day used the route between the Bohle industrial area and Garbutt.