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The Forum > General Discussion > One continuous roadworks zone!

One continuous roadworks zone!

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The Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Rockhampton.

I traversed it a couple of days ago. The most amazing number of roadworks sites!! Many of which had no active work but still with long stretches at temporary slow speed, often for no discernible reason!

Then between Rocky and Townsville, still plenty of roadworks but at least there were some stretches of a few kilometres where one could actually do the normal speed limit!

A few things were in my mind as I drove up this goat-track:

1. The enormous amount of work going into this piece of infrastructure. I travel this road a lot. There has always been a lot of work happening on it, over the years. And yet the government (state and federal) have always received a great deal of flack about inadequate funding for infrastructure, not least the Bruce Hwy.

2. The appallingly irresponsible use of temporary speed limit signage. So much of the time it appears as though the The Dept of Transport and Main Roads, RoadTek, Evolution Traffic Control, the site managers and/or the workers donít give a hoot about the appropriateness or otherwise of the legally-binding speed signs they were using.

3. The appalling lack of respect of these signs by most drivers, who just treat them as a rough guide to slow down a bit, and the horrible schism that this creates. Over and over again I was pincered between what a temporary speed sign dictated and what the driver behind wanted me to do.

4. The appalling lack of policing of something that has clearly blown right out of control.

How on earth could the relevant authorities have let this situation get so bad?

The police are supposedly putting in a pretty good effort at addressing speed on our main roads. You certainly see both mobile and stationary vehicles with speed cameras fairly frequently on this highway. And yet roadworks sites on these same roads are virtually be speed-free-for-all zones!

I completely donít get it! Can anyone out there in OLOland offer any explanation??
Posted by Ludwig, Friday, 17 May 2013 10:20:11 PM
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Ludwig as you may remember this , roadworks, was my factory floor for a very long time.
It is no easy task working under and umbrella of constant abuse.
And believe me it is so when ever traffic comes in contact with road workers.
Truckers find the channel traffic controllers use and truly get down and dirty, filthy in fact at female workers.
Seems you can not win, wrong if you are not fixing the road and products of unwed parents if you are.
Night work day work it still brings the insults.
Heaping dirt up is not road works.
Nothing can be done instantly.
Road works are not just throw it about most are constructed under an American highway construction code.
We should aim at building it to last longer, believe me, until recently that was not the target making a dollar build a useless ten dollars worth of breaking up as it is constructed roads.
Councils however are far different, a single office dweller was recently convicted of selling his sole and ratepayers too, a couple of bottles of Scotch and tickets to the state of origion saw contractors more related to crime than roads get the job.
Posted by Belly, Saturday, 18 May 2013 6:10:40 AM
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Ludwig, that section of the Bruce and the roads around it were hammered badly by the floods last year. Have a look at the Isis River crossing near Gin Gin for an example of what happened. Another day or two of rain would have seen that bridge gone - the abutments scoured out for 50 or more metres and that would have taken weeks to make a temporary fix and months to properly repair and shield against future damage. There are thousands of citrus trees in the river as well, washed down from the orchards that abound upstream.

Further north the highway is a potholed mess and the work has to be done sometime. The reason the signs are left up is that the contractor "owns" the road while the roadworks are on and has agreed to maintain a passage at that specified speed, which is related to the type/width of road, normal speed limits and other factors. I went through some works on the Gore Highway a couple of weeks ago (one lane open, the other had active work going on) at which the traffic controllers had a vehicle shuttling back and forth at the nominated speed (40 km/h) in front of the relevant stream of traffic, which was held by lollipop signs to await its arrival. Naturally that required 2 drivers to manage fatigue.

The cost must be enormous - traffic controllers are paid well.That little job would be at least $3000 a day, which would be perhaps 1/3 of the total cost of the works.

It should also be remembered that cost is added to the cost of building and repairing every km of road. Literally billions of dollars every year straight out of government funding for roads.

There must be a better way, surely. Once it was a standard practise to build diversion tracks. It doesn't cost much to run a grader along a few hundred meters of track once or twice a day , nor does a water cart once or twice an hour.
Posted by Antiseptic, Saturday, 18 May 2013 7:36:50 AM
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Don't forget we're talking a thousand or more kilometres & that's no easy task. I have travelled the Tablelands Nth Qld recently & have nothing but praise for quality of road work there.
On the other hand it would be a great opportunity to give many young people some work experience with the added benefit of experiencing work at the same time. Two birds with one stone ! Yeah, I know we shouldn't make the little craps get their hands dirty let alone make them so tired that it prevents them from prowling the streets at night. Bring on National service !
Posted by individual, Saturday, 18 May 2013 8:15:53 AM
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Thanks Antiseptic.

I have no quarrel with the amount of work being conducted there or the inconvenience it causes in the first instance.

But I have a big problem with frequently blatantly inappropriate temporary speed signs, blatant disregard for these signs from the general public and the blatant blind-eyeing of this from our police and government.

Crikey, these speed signs are supposed to be legally-binding. There is supposed to be a responsibility for them to be used properly and a regulatory regime which strives to make sure that they are properly observed.

One would have thought that when some aspect of law gets wildly out of control, there would be a much-increased effort to bring it back into line again.

What we see now is the general public treating permanent and temporary speed limit signs in a totally different manner. In my extensive experience, it is standard practice for most drivers to respect the permanent speed limit and to happily travel at a little bit over it up the highway and maintain a respectable distance behind a vehicle in front that is doing the same speed, but to then behave in a totally different manner upon entering roadworks zones.

This makes it extremely difficult if you wish to observe the signs, or something approximating them, if you have any traffic behind you!

I hate tailgating or impatient belligerent driving with a passion! I hate having some mongrel creeping up really close behind, telling me to speed up, while I am travelling at or over the speed limit!

Posted by Ludwig, Saturday, 18 May 2013 8:44:41 AM
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And crikey, in roadworks zones, in between the first temporary speed signs and the actual work area, this is absolutely chronic! You can often be doing more than 20kmh over the limit and still have some twat right up your rear telling you to speed up!

You could be both chronically tailgated AND get booked for exceeding the speed limit by more 20kmh at the same time!

On the highway north of Gympie a couple of days ago I had entered a roadworks zone, going from 100kmh to 80, with a large truck behind me which had been happily following at a respectable distance while I sat on 105 in the 100k zone, but which was suddenly totally intolerant of me slowing down towards 80, as per the sign that I had just passed, and then became extremely intolerant when I passed a 60 sign and had only just started to slow down towards that speed.

It would seem that these Ďprofessionalí truck-drivers know that they can get away with chronically exceeding the speed limit in roadworks zones, or at least in the lead-up and lead-out of the zones, on either side of the actual worksite.
Posted by Ludwig, Saturday, 18 May 2013 8:46:43 AM
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