Anniversary of Cyclone Debbie flooding looms

STORM DAMAGE: The Mount Lindesay Highway was severely damaged in last year's  floods.

STORM DAMAGE: The Mount Lindesay Highway was severely damaged in last year's floods.

DAMAGE to roads from ex-Cyclone Debbie is still being repaired as the state prepares to mark the storm’s anniversary.

The Springbrook-Gold Coast Road is expected to reopen in October, with work under way at 18 major sites and 35 minor sites within the closed section.

The John Muntz Causeway on the Tamborine–Oxenford Road was reopened last year.

Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said most repairs were due to be completed by the end of the year.

“Cyclone Debbie was a truly destructive storm that caused $2.4 billion in damages across the country and resulted in the tragic deaths of 14 people,” Mr Bailey said.

“I know many communities are still struggling with the losses they endured but we are working hard to rebuild as quickly as possible.

“Compared to other disasters in recent years, the heavy rainfall totals associated with cyclone Debbie caused significant landslips as well as road damage, with more than 200 sites requiring geotechnical repairs, some of which were unprecedented in Queensland.

“Immediately afterwards, we completed temporary repairs to reopen roads or provided detours to ensure the community had access.

“The complex nature of the damage has meant further structural and geotechnical investigations and design work have been required on many sites, in order to determine the full extent of damage and best value-for-money solutions for long-term repairs.”

Repairs to the state-controlled road network are estimated to cost up to $250 million, with $55.6 million already spent on works completed to 28 February 2018.

Mr Bailey said the main areas of focus were the Sarina Range, south of Mackay, and the Gold Coast hinterland.

‘‘Both of these focus areas suffered severe landslips requiring road closures and I’m aware these communities have suffered,’’ Mr Bailey said.

‘‘We are also conducting ongoing slope instability monitoring to ensure works can be completed safely.

“We are making good headway given the circumstances, with works completed at almost half of the 26 landslip sites on the Sarina Range, three critical sites at Lamington National Park Road and the main landslip site at Tomewin Mountain Road.

“This follows repairs already completed last year at John Muntz Causeway and Pine Creek Road on the Gold Coast.”

Cyclone Debbie formed on March 26, crossing the Queensland coast near Airlie Beach on March 28 and then sliding south as a major low which produced widespread flooding in places like Beaudesert and Jimboomba.