Roads reopen as Queensland floodwaters recede

Vital road links in Queensland reopen as floodwaters across the stricken state begin to recede

January 14, 2011

Vital road links in Queensland are beginning to reopen as floodwaters across the stricken state recede.

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace says the road from Brisbane to Cairns in North Queensland has reopened after two weeks of closure.

Rockhampton has reconnected to the south with the Bruce Highway and Yeppen Bridge now open to traffic.

"The Bruce is an important lifeline to Rockhampton, Bouldercombe, Gracemere and Mt Morgan and many other communities in North Queensland," he says.

The Bruce Highway around Gympie yesterday reopened, allowing drivers to get all the way from Brisbane to Gladstone.

He says the route had been cut for many days in several places 10 to 20 kilometres south of Gympie, blocking vital freight movements.

"It's a long-distance east coast freight route which is a critical part of the supply chain to many communities in North Queensland," Wallace says.

Meanwhile, the Mary River is receding faster than expected. Wallace says the Wide Bay Highway will reopen to allow access to the South Burnett region.

He says engineers are continuing to inspect roads in the first days and weeks of them reopening to determine if restrictions need to be imposed.

"I expect there will be significant amount of traffic wanting to service communities all along the eastern. We will monitor traffic levels carefully," he says.

The Capricorn Highway between the Yeppen Roundabout and Gracemere remains closed to all traffic, with Wallace expecting it could remain so for several days as engineers assess the route.

"Our network has taken a battering and we need to reduce the damage inflicted on it."

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