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Road crew inspects PDR but no opening date set

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Don’t expect the Peninsula Developmental Road to be open for at least a few more weeks as the Department of Transport and Main Roads plays it safe with Cape York’s unofficial highway.

Speaking exclusively with Cape York Weekly, TMR district director Ross Hodgman said he did not expect the road to be open in the short term.

Some sections of the Peninsula Developmental Road have been destroyed by floodwater and TMR is assessing possible detours to make access safe.
Photo: Matt Nicholls.

“RoadTek have been through for their primary assessment,” Mr Hodgman said on Friday.

“Once that initial inspection is done, it allows them to do high-level scoping on the worst areas.

“We will throw as many resources as we can to open it as quickly as possible.”

Mr Hodgson said he heard the frustration of Cape York locals who have been unable to drive on the road since December.

PDR sign
Photo: Matt Nicholls

“Safety is always our number one priority and it’s not just about opening the road, it’s about making sure we sign post the damaged areas correctly so motorists are informed.”

TMR won’t have to fix all the damaged sections immediately, Mr Hodgson said, but would need to forge a way around the worst parts.

“We call it an opening grade, which is all about getting that road open,” he said.

“It won’t be perfect but it will be safe and provide access. We’ll open it to cars before we allow the trucks back on it.”

TMR had yet to receive the written report from RoadTek on Friday and Mr Hodgson said Cape York locals, as well as tourists, might have to be patient.

“We rely a lot on working with the local community, such as roadhouses, the police, and Cook Shire Council,” he said.

“It’s been a very good wet season and there’s still a chance for more rain, so we need to be mindful of not doing the work, only for it to be undone, costing a lot more money.”

Cape York Weekly 12 April 2021

This article appeared in Cape York Weekly, 12 April 2021.

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