Large sections of the Flinders Highway between Richmond to Julia Creek remain inundated and inaccessible today.
State Transport Minister Mark Bailey said this included a section of the highway between Julia Creek and Nelia, still covered by flood waters over a metre deep on Thursday.
“The expanse of land that has been covered by water is incredible,” he said.
“We expect the most damaged sections of the Flinders Highway to be closed for some time, but unfortunately it’s too early to say for how long.”
Motorists are reminded to watch out for weak cattle in the road corridor and on the road. These cattle have endured hardship and do not have the energy to move for vehicles.
- Closed between Richmond to Julia Creek:
Detour in place from Mount Isa to Townsville on the Landsborough Highway to Winton, then from Winton north to Hughenden, then through to Townsville
- Townsville through to Hughenden is open
- Hughenden to Richmond is open with caution, drivers are encouraged to drive to conditions
- Julia Creek to Cloncurry is open with caution.
Burke Developmental Road:
- Cloncurry to Burke and Wills junction is open
- Burke and Wills junction to Gregory is open
- Gregory to Burketown is open.
A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesman said crews had been working tirelessly to assess damage and undertake emergency repairs since the record rainfall across North Queensland resulted closed many state-controlled roads and bridges.
On the Bruce Highway at Giru, personnel cleared debris ahead of structural testing of the Haughton River Bridge. It reopened to traffic on February 5 after being closed for six days.
On the Flinders Highway at Sellheim efforts to inspect the Macrossan Bridge were hindered by near record floodwaters in the Burdekin River. Once the floodwaters finally receded, the department was able to quickly reopen the bridge to traffic on February 9, after being closed for seven days. This was thanks to the efforts of Charters Towers Regional Council which cleared bridge debris.
“In Townsville, our specialist engineers inspected, load tested and undertook depth sounding at the Bowen Road and Rooney bridges to reopen these major arterials to traffic,” the spokesman said.
“North of Townsville our geotechnical engineers were required to complete multiple assessments of ground stability on both Mount Spec Road and Hervey Range Road, following flooding and many landslips.”
Motorists are urged to check QLDTraffic for the latest information before travelling.