Bruce Highway event adds pressure on bitumen probe

Atherton Tablelands report still awaited as weather is blamed again

Bruce Highway event adds pressure on bitumen probe
Part of the stablised Millaa Millaa-Malanda Road late last month


Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has had to scramble again over road resealing failures, with a review likely to see changes in practices.

The latest issue occurred mid- week on a stretch of Bruce Highway at Waverley Creek between Rockhampton and Mackay.

It comes little more than a month after bitumen melted on the Millaa Millaa-Malanda Road and nearby highways in the Atherton Tablelands causing truck and car damage.

With the public and the trucking industry now alert to such things, the Waverley Creek incident came to the attention of news media swiftly.

"The asphalt started flicking up everywhere and flying out into the lane beside me," truck driver Peter Lewis said in a phone video shown on 7 News.


Read how the TMR probe deadline delay was reported here

The investigation into the Atherton Tablelands event, which covered truck and car wheels in melted asphalt, is still pending and TMR was unable to give ATN an update on its progress, with the deadline remaining at some time mid-month.

That event was put down initially to changeable weather conditions and temperature swings, though TMR was saying two weeks ago the surface, which looks quite rough, is now stable.

A similar explanation was broadcast related to Waverley Creek event’s cause.

"Unfortunately, the cold snap came in pretty nasty this morning and stripped a few stones off the road," Rock ‘N’ Road Bitumen manager David Wallman was filmed telling 7 News.

TMR says rectification works were undertaken on Wednesday, as soon as it was able, and all loose stones removed from the immediate area.

"The area was monitored overnight and there have been no signs of further deterioration," spokesperson tells ATN.

"Inspections were undertaken to determine the extent of additional works required which will be actioned as soon as possible.

"Changed traffic conditions will remain in place, and motorists should proceed with caution and observe all signs.

"The cause is still being investigated although the cold weather could be a contributing factor.

"Anyone wanting to submit a claim for vehicle damage can contact TMR’s Mackay office on 4951 8555.

"Any claims for vehicle damage and compensation will be assessed on a case by case basis.

As of 12pm [yesterday], we have received 28 calls from motorists reporting damage to their vehicles as a result of travelling through the site."


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