An unsealed road that leads to iconic Townsville locations such as Crystal Creek and Paluma Dam has been upgraded.
The Spiegelhauer Road upgrade has received two rounds of funding under the Australian Government’s Black Spot program totalling $1.07 million.
Stage one received $390,685 and involved sealing more than 400 metres of unsealed road and the installation of guard rails.
Stage two received a further $659,500, which allowed for a road realignment, sealing of a further 800 metres of the road, the installation of warning signage and more guard rails.
Townsville City Council Infrastructure Services Committee chairperson Kurt Rehbein said Spiegelhauer Road had been identified as a location for Black Spot funding due to several crashes with tourists who were unfamiliar with the conditions or lacked experience in wet conditions.
“Spiegelhauer Road is always being driven by tourists visiting Townsville because it does provide access to Big Crystal Creek, the rockslides and a popular camping destination in the Paluma Range National Park,” Cr Rehbein said.
“It was a winding road that turned from a sealed road into an unsealed road and was the location of several crashes in wet weather and with motorists that were unfamiliar with the road conditions.
“Council applied for the Black Spot funding over two separate submissions to upgrade 1.3 km of the road by sealing it, line-marking the new bitumen and installing guardrails.
“I’m glad that we could get this project completed in time for the upcoming school holidays and that we have been able to improve road safety for our residents and visitors to the area who want to enjoy our beautiful natural environments.”
Black Spot funding is awarded to roads that record crashes that could have otherwise been prevented with upgrades to the road.
Cr Rehbein said Council staff worked with Wet Tropics throughout the duration of the project to minimise any impact on the surrounding habitat.
“This project was completed in a National Park with rainforest surrounding it, and it is home to a lot of native Australian wildlife – including the endangered Mahogany Glider,” he said.
“Council worked with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Wet Tropics to minimise any impacts on the area and ensure that habitats weren’t disturbed.”