State and federal government ministers have joined together to announce that the long-awaited re-opening of the range section of the Sarina-Marlborough Road will take place before Christmas.
The road across the range was severely damaged by landslides that resulted from the impact of Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March 2017, greatly impacting road users in the region.
The length of time taken to repair the highway was initially questioned by the Sarina Range Community Association, who said residents had been tested socially, emotionally and financially by the extended road closure.
A single lane section of the road was opened under traffic control in early October, giving local users hours back in their week that were spent on detours.
Reconstruction works have been jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, and federal assistant minister for home affairs, Senator Linda Reynolds, said the milestone was a great example of all levels of government working together to assist with the community’s recovery.
“This was a significant reconstruction project and the re-opening of the road will be welcomed by the local community,” she said.
“Cyclone Debbie had a catastrophic impact on Queensland communities, causing widespread damage to infrastructure, essential services and housing.
“The support of the Commonwealth and Queensland government has been crucial in helping the region recover.”
Queensland transport and main roads minister, Mark Bailey, said the state government had also funded rejuvenation works to the Charles Barton Lookout and created a permanent tribute to the Sarina Range community’s strength, resilience and patience in the form of a tourist information sign.
The sign includes historical information about Tropical Cyclone Debbie and the major landslides that have afflicted the area.
“The sign acknowledges Sir Charles Barton’s significant contribution to transport and main roads from 1929 to 1976 and his influence on the department,” Mr Bailey said.
"By working together with the community after last year’s cyclone, we were able to restore Marlborough-Sarina Road, rehabilitate other areas along the range crossing, and rejuvenate Charles Barton Lookout.
“As part of our commitment to safety and improving the road network, we also funded an upgrade to the Koumala-Bolingbroke Road detour route.
"A big thank you to the Sarina Range community, for its patience and feedback throughout the entire reconstruction process.”
For up-to-date information, including restrictions along Marlborough-Sarina Road visit QLDtraffic.qld.gov.au or call 13 19 40.