$6m road upgrade to end 'Russian roulette'
The daily dice with danger at Pacific Paradise’s notorious Menzies Drive-Mudjimba Beach Road intersection at David Low Way should be just a bad memory by early next year.
And Pacific Paradise Progress Association committee member Rod Somerville said Monday’s announcement by Main Roads that work on a $6 million upgrade should start early next month was “not before time”.
“It really is a game of Russian roulette there – especially for pedestrians and the school kids who have to the cross the road,” Mr Somerville said.
“It should have been done at least five or six years ago.”
Mr Somerville said one of the biggest concerns, apart from the collisions between turning traffic, involved vehicles banking back up across a pedestrian crossing.
“The worry is that people are using the crossing when the lights change and, what with nervous drivers ... someone could be hit.”
Mr Somerville said land for the intersection realignment had been set aside ever since the Centro North shopping centre was built.
The only thing lacking had been the political will to find the funding.
Main roads minister Warren Pitt admitted yesterday that safety at the intersection was a major issue.
“The project is a positive response to community concerns about safety and congestion at the intersection,” he said.
“Construction will entail widening of David Low Way and realigning Menzies Drive to meet Mudjimba Beach Road to provide additional capacity.
“The project aims to increase pedestrian safety, reduce accidents, alleviate current congestion and meet future traffic demand in the area.”
RoadTek will also construct a new signalised intersection, linking the proposed Pacific Paradise bypass to David Low Way and providing a new access to the Sunshine Coast Airport, east of Runway Drive.
Work at the new intersection is scheduled to start this week.
“When complete, the Pacific Paradise bypass will provide a fast and efficient link to the airport from the Sunshine Motorway, diverting traffic away from the centre of Pacific Paradise and further alleviating congestion at the Menzies Drive-Mudjimba Beach Road intersection,” Mr Pitt said.
“The new intersection will link with the four-lane road being constructed by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to provide improved access to the airport.”
Mr Somerville said his association was delighted that both projects should be completed by early 2009.
“This will help ease traffic entering our small village,” he said.