The road network from the city entry to the beginning of Boat Harbour Drive is an area already beset with serious traffic issues – and these are going to get worse if the appropriate action is not set in train soon.
The problems include the intersections at Urraween Rd and Burrum Heads Rd, access to Xavier College and Yarrilee Primary School, access to the shopping centre from Ibis Boulevard, the lack of multiple routes to Eli Waters and Mariner’s Cove in particular, and localised issues with the back access to Xavier from Endeavour Way.
Eli Waters already has something approaching 1000 houses, and further development is under way. Similarly, the population of Dundowran, Craignish, Toogoom and Burrum Heads, already large, continues to grow. It doesn’t need too much imagination to see where we may be at in 15 years’ time. But I’m not convinced the planning is keeping up.
There are things in the pipeline. The state government is doing preliminary planning for the Urraween Rd intersection. They are also in the planning stage for traffic lights to control access to Xavier and Yarrilee from Burrum Heads Rd. I understand conditions for an Eli Waters subdivision include an access road from Eli to Burrum Heads Rd. But these will only band-aid some of the current problems. They will not deal adequately with all of today’s issues, much less those to emerge in the next few years.
These issues are among the most serious for Division 6 residents, though of course affecting the wider community. They need vigorous and intelligent planning, lobbying and negotiating with the state government. If elected this will be a priority for me.
The following should be included in any planning list.
Alternative access to/from Dundowran through Urraween Rd
Currently most traffic along Burrum Heads Rd travels through the intersection of that road and Maryborough-Hervey Bay Rd. Some parents access Yarrilee via Scrub Hill Rd, but as currently established this is not taking enough pressure off Burrum Heads Rd and the intersection.
The upgrade of the Urraween Rd intersection should work towards a well-developed alternative route not just to Yarrilee, but to Dundowran generally, perhaps along Lower Mountain Rd. This would reduce the traffic at the Burrum Heads Rd/ Maryborough Rd intersection. Traffic from Dundowran and further out, bound say for the medical precincts at Urraween, could use this route to advantage, as could Urraween residents heading to Toogoom for lunch.
Burrum Heads Rd/Maryborough – Hervey Bay Rd intersection.
An alternative route will relieve some pressure here, but additional measures should be examined. Denis Chapman has suggested a flyover for traffic turning right to Burrum Heads Rd. Not a cheap option perhaps, but it will be there for a long time after the cost is forgotten. Will traffic lights work, or is this intersection is too close to Ibis Blvd? Some lateral thinking is called for.
Eventually one expects Burrum Heads Rd to be 4 lanes, and the planning should allow for that.
Traffic intending to continue on Ibis Blvd banks behind cars turning into the shopping centre. Dedicating a turning lane and a through lane would help, although one would need to ensure there is room for that. It should be investigated as a priority. If it can be achieved it would be a cheap improvement.
Access from Eli Waters to Burrum Heads Rd
As I understand it, a road linking Eli Waters to Burrum Heads Rd is included in the conditions of a subdivision approval. Unfortunately it is a condition of the next stage so must wait pending that stage. If this is the case there is nothing we can do about that now. Once it is completed it will take some pressure off the Ibis Blvd/Maryborough – Hervey Bay Rd intersection. It should also provide an alternative for Mariners’ Cove which at the moment has only one access route.
Link between Eli Waters and Point Vernon
There is much to recommend a road between these two suburbs, which would also provide an alternative route between Point Vernon and Burrum Heads Rd. It has been suggested that this will not happen until the land between is developed. I want to investigate this but it is somewhat complex and it would be misleading for me to make any promises this far out.
Old Maryborough Rd/Boat Harbour Drive roundabout
In peak (school) times traffic in Old Maryborough Rd banks back to Tooth St. Some of this traffic is trying to turn left into Boat Harbour Drive. Adding a second lane to the approach to the roundabout would help to clear this intersection. Again whether there is room, or whether room can be made for two lanes needs investigating.
Access to Xavier from Endeavour Way
Many parents drop their children off at the rear access to Xavier, from Endeavour Way. While this is sensible for parents wanting to avoid the traumas of Burrum Heads Rd, it does cause some local problems for sections of Endeavour Way. I have had discussions with Xavier principal Kerry Swann, who is sympathetic. Perhaps some set down zone with a turnaround can be carved out of the adjacent park without too much damage to parkland. Again I am unlikely to be able to solve this in the run-up to the election, but will investigate it as soon as I can if elected.
Thanks to the residents…
I am indebted to many residents of Eli Waters and elsewhere for their input into these matters. I can assure you all that they will be high on my agenda.