CRG members were concerned the additional vehicles on Esk-Kilcoy Rd during construction may result in an increase in accidents, particularly at existing problem points like the intersection with Wivenhoe-Somerset Rd. Increased traffic would make it more dangerous for pedestrians to cross the road. CRG members noted the nearest police, fire and ambulance stations are all around 25km away and the local Rural Fire Brigade would likely be the first responders to any accidents near the village.
Increased traffic may also accelerate normal deterioration of road surfaces causing potholes and other road damage. This could also lead to more accidents and increased wear and tear on private vehicles. CRG members also expressed concern about increased numbers of native animals being killed on local roads.
The increased traffic on local roads during construction may cause congestion, resulting in longer travel times for locals. CRG members identified school bus services, emergency services and community support outreach services as being particularly affected. CRG members also felt there was not a lot that could be done to mitigate congestion on local roads and residents will need to adjust to increased travel times during construction.
CRG members agreed the increased traffic on Esk-Kilcoy Rd would change the peaceful and quiet nature of Somerset Dam village. They were concerned it may be more difficult for local traffic to safely turn from side streets onto Esk-Kilcoy Rd. Residents living close to the main road may be impacted by increased noise, dust and vibration damage to their homes. They were also concerned about pedestrian and cyclist safety in the village, the appeal of the area to visitors and holiday makers and possible economic impacts on the village.
The proposed widening of Esk-Kilcoy Rd through the village would also add construction impacts and result in a change to the ‘look’ of the village. CRG members felt these impacts were balanced by the long term benefits of road safety, particularly improvements to blind corners and access to the dam viewing area.
Proposed measures to reduce or mitigate impacts:
- Install project signage prior to start of construction to help prepare road users for upcoming impacts
- Reduce the speed limit through the village
- Schedule truck movements to minimise impacts at peak traffic periods
- Install temporary signage at the approach to narrow bends warning of trucks
- Install temporary traffic lights on Esk-Kilcoy Rd at King St and Gipps St to allow local traffic to safely access the road
- Temporarily close access from Albert St to Esk-Kilcoy Rd to push vehicles to temporary traffic lights
- Have school bus service to Toogoolawah schools pick up students from the Dam Shed
- Widen Esk-Kilcoy Rd through the village, particularly near Coronation Hall
- Investigate improvements to access to dam viewing area and approaching corners
- Install a footpath and a safe crossing point for pedestrians in the village (such as pedestrian traffic lights)
- Increased frequency of road inspections and road maintenance
- Increased communication with residents and visitors to prepare for impacts
- Keep the community informed during the construction period with regular updates, a column in the local paper, community meetings, etc.
Do you have any other feedback or ideas? Share them with the CRG by emailing [email protected]