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The School Of Common Sense Outweighs An Engineering Degree

By Ray White Whitsunday

Despite raising fears of traffic chaos in the heart of Airlie Beach, Whitsunday councillors have approved a new paid parking development.

The paid public car park will be built in Port of Airlie’s southern precinct on a site now used to store and dewater material dredged from the marina.

Access will be from Port Drive, via a modified median layout including a new right turn lane.

Whitsunday Regional Council and Main Roads Department engineers said the design complied with all the relevant safety standards and there would be “no adverse impacts” on the nearby Shute Harbour Road intersection.

But several councillors voiced their doubts at Wednesday’s council meeting in Proserpine.

Crs Jan Clifford and Al Grundy suggested alternative access arrangements, such as making the car park left turn in and out only, or linking its entrance with the marina’s existing boat trailer car park entrance.

The entrance to the car park is within 25m of a state-controlled road. Picture: Supplied.

“The turning where you actually enter the car park is very close to the roundabout and I certainly have concerns as that area gets more congested that we’ll end up seeing vehicles pushed back onto Shute Harbour Road or into the roundabout space with the slightest bit of congestion,” Cr Grundy said.

Cr Mike Brunker wanted it on the record he was not convinced by assurances from the council’s development services director Neil McGaffin that “it’s been checked by the engineers and deemed to be satisfactory”.

“Sometimes the school of common sense outweighs an engineering degree,” Cr Brunker said, citing the notorious Gregory Cannon Valley Road and Shute Harbour Road intersection as an example.

“That’s a compliant intersection as well and we’re redoing that one because of all the traffic accidents we have there,” he said, before joining his fellow councillors in a unanimous vote in favour of the development.

Plans submitted for a new paid car park at Airlie Beach. Picture: Supplied.

Mr McGaffin said the council would resolve traffic issues in co-operation with Main Roads, should any arise when the car park became operational.

“There are a variety of alternative options available,” he said.

The car park will incorporate 173 uncovered car spaces, including two spaces for persons with disabilities, plus 14 secure bike parking spaces.

Dredge material handling will continue on the eastern side of the site.

Source: Whitsunday Times.

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