Qld Highways!

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 17:54
ThreadID: 134064 Views:3593 Replies:12 FollowUps:16
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On a recent trip it was noticeable that some of the inland roads are suffering from the continuous heavy traffic, especially the Leichhardt Hwy ,from Goondiwindi to Miles,bit like driving on a ocean wave,You can still do a good speed but would be playing havoc with caravan suspensions and towing tugs.

Ol Joe would be rolling over by now..LOL.

HNY Axle.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 18:15

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 18:15
Hi axle,

The Barkly "HWY" gave us that rocking horse ride a couple of years ago crossing from the Territory to Cloncurry. There were many sections under repair and it appeared it was a never ending job.
Maybe something to do with the Black Soil Plains and heavy transport.

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Follow Up By: axle - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 19:44

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 19:44
Hi Pop,....I think your right its soft underneath,and those cattle trucks alone carry some weight!...Big dollars to repair.

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 20:07

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 20:07
I believe that the Barkly Highway was originally a stock route that was hurriedly sealed as a defence road during World War ll. So it probably had minimal foundations and is now suffering with road trains and other traffic. Total rebuild would be required.

Considering the relatively low volume of traffic on most of Australian roads, we are fortunate to have the many kilometres of quality roads that we do have.

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Follow Up By: Members - Bow & Nan - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 10:04

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 10:04
The road that you drive on now is not the road they built in World War 11.

If you look to the side of the new road the old single lane sealed road still exists in some places.
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Reply By: Top End Az - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 20:07

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 20:07
I'd have to say that the Flinders Hwy between Cloncurry and Hughenden back in 2014 was easily the worst sealed road I've been on in my travels. The lumps/surf/swell in the road saw our front wheels almost airborne on one section, doing 80. I would confidently say that we've done the Gibb River Road a number of times and large sections of it (western end) are smoother and more comfortable than the Flinders Highway.
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 20:51

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 20:51
We frequently find it's a more comfortable ride on the unsealed outback roads than the sealed ones - tracks like the Birdsville and the Gibb can be as good as a highway if you strike it lucky with the grader timing !!
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 22:19

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 22:19
The rock 'n' roll Central Queensland Roads were terrible with our long wheel base and caravan. Slower and harder driving on than the unsealed and very corrugated inland roads. We found them mostly in the clay soil areas, particularly the former Eromanga Sea.

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Follow Up By: mike39 - Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 10:17

Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 10:17
So true MH.
From the E, the Surat Basin joins the Eromanga Basin which extends W into SA.
This is an area of sedimentary deposit from the Cretaceous period overlaying artesian water, oil and gas.
Somewhat like a waterbed mattress, the country is still restless and continuously undulating.
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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 22:54

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 22:54
No! They are not suffering from heavy traffic or lack of anything. They are suffering from black soil and unless you have a lot of money to throw at thats the way it is.
I can tell some stories about the same bit of road in the late 60's, some good and some bad. Good! Potato shed at the Moonie motel with many a drink with the locals. Bad! Down to the axles again all 7 of them when wet.

If you want a good ride, go the Mundubbera/ durong rd for a great back bracing run.
Guess many get used to what they get for their tax dollar in populated areas.

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Reply By: Dusty D - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 08:33

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 08:33
I often travel the Capricorn Highway from Barcaldine to Rocky and back. The east bound lane has always been worse than the westbound and it is all to do with the weight of heavy vehicles according to a mate who has been working on the highway for the past 30 years. Trucks heading east are usually fully loaded and come back empty with the most noticeable being stock transport into Gracemere saleyards and quarry trucks from the Anakie area carting gravel to Emerald and beyond.

My mate would never admit that they didn't know how to build a good road to start with. Poor foundations without the right amount of compaction plus heavy transport will always result in a bad road.

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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 10:50

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 10:50
It has NOTHING to do with road building ability but everything to do with $$$$ allocated , a 1klm road in the Brisvegas area gets $$$$$$$$$$$$$ while a lifeline H/way out west of the great dividing range gets $$ for 1klm section.
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Follow Up By: Member - Gary R M (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 14:22

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 14:22
Hi Dusty, not sure about QLD but years of neglecting table drain and shoulder maintenance in Vic and NSW have added to the problem in these parts.

Anywhere (at least in these states) where there's a pavement failure in the outer wheel path I bet you'll find an adjacent silted up table drain, similarly lack of gravel (due to lack of shoulder maintenance) on the road shoulder means the edge of seal has nothing to support it and it breaks away. Very frustrating when simple maintenance techniques could help alleviate these problems.

Cheers, Gary M.

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 21:33

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 21:33
Alloy who hit the nail on the head with how much is spent and where. I would like to get a chainsaw and cut SE Qld of the map so the money gets allocated a little more fairly around the state.

Northern NSW suffers the same, with the amount of bridges they have closed and can't fix. With a large vehicle I cringe when crossing some of them. Even Grafton bridge is a total joke in this day and age, Bingara bridge has also caused me a lot of grief over the years. Mt lindesay highway also comes to mind on the NSW side of the border, they even changed the name to Mt Lindesay road because it was so bad.
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Follow Up By: Dusty D - Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 08:13

Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 08:13
You will get no argument from me Alloy that dollars or lack of is the deciding factor between a good road and a bad one in most areas.

From what I see, the decision makers in regional areas are contributing to the problem by wasting money on some sections of road that don't need it and ignoring the stretches that do require a complete upgrade to reach any degree of acceptable standard.

It's not the engineers or roadwork crews that don't know how to build a good road, it's the councillors looking after their own little patch first and ignoring places that they regard as irrelevant to their own interests. It happens in most regional council jurisdictions.


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Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 12:23

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 12:23
The problem in Qld is simple. The engineering standards are lower in Qld than any other state. There is simply not enough depth or width of road base in Qld road standards. The soil type doses not t help but it does not change at the NSW and NT boarder.
I kept breaking torsion bar bolts in Qld so slowed down 20k/h.

I am not an engineer but have worked closely with an ex Qld engineer for a while in another life.

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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 18:14

Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 18:14
Nothing absolutely nothing to do with engineering standards being lower in Qld , its all about the $$$$$ allocated from the Govt purse for road building /maintenance ,the Sth East corner of Qld gets 90+% of road building $$$$ while the rest of the state gets F-all……..
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Follow Up By: Neil & Pauline - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 09:17

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 09:17
Don't disagree re the $$$$. in any other stste less road would be built for the $$ currently allocated. The money only goes where the votes are and Qld is probably the worst state for that.

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Reply By: Member - Blue M - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 19:22

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 19:22
Come on guys, how boring would it be if every bitumen road was built like a Freeway.

I find these types of roads have character, adds awareness to your driving skills, keeps you more alert and one should be travelling at a reduced speed, which in its self has it's own built in safety aspects.

Most of us if not all, have 4x4's with lift kits, GVM upgrades, all the good bits and gadgets for driving on the roughest of Outback roads, but are troubled by a bit of screwed up bouncy bitumen, that is not up to the "M1" status.

I say some of the above tongue in cheek, :-)

Yes some of our bitumen roads, especially where there is a concentrated flow of heavy vehicles involved, do leave a bit to be desired, .

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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 21:09

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 21:09
Just back from Vic which in places some roads felt like we were in Qld. The "Rough Surface" sign got quite a workout until with a change of Shires it became "Uneven Surface". Sometimes there was an 80kmh advisory, sometimes the rough bit was smoother than the preceding 300m and sometimes it actually was rougher.
Perhaps a big spend on maintenance is in order. $50 million on Great Ocean Rd from Anglesea to Geelong by 2018 is not being spent in the area between the Prom and Melbourne..... W

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Follow Up By: Member - Robert1660 - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 23:20

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 23:20
Likewise Warrie we are just back from a trip across from Canberra to the Flinders and return. All that can be said for most of the main roads is that the trucks are causing considerable damage. This was particularly noticeable across the Hay Plain and also the Murray Valley Highway in Victoria. In the past we have found the Barrier Highway from Broken Hill to Cobar is no better. We have noticed that with rain water lodges in the dual wheel tracks impressed into the road surface and creates a particular driving hazard. The Barrier Highway and the Eyre Highway were particularly bad for this with the danger being exacerbated by edges which were very soft in such wet conditions.
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Reply By: Tim - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 21:48

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 21:48
Just a fact no opinion here;
In a course I did at work, we had an RTA/RMS person give a talk about oversize/mass heavy vehicles.
According to this guy, a single 40t truck trailer combo does the same in terms of wear and tear on a road that 1000 car movements do.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 07:58

Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 07:58
Fact ? 40ton divided by 1000 = 40 kg , what car weighs 40kg ? By the RTA / RMS
'fact' your average 4x4 and caravan combo [5ton] does the same damage as 125 normal cars……...
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Follow Up By: Dusty D - Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 09:04

Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 09:04
It is not as simple as that Alloy.

With an increase in weight there is also an increase in exponential growth or to put it more simply, a huge increase in the the amount of energy created by the extra weight. Add to that the dynamics of weight shifting in a heavy vehicle compared to a light vehicle and the exponential growth increases even more.

A good example of where this has to be considered is the construction of airport runways. A jumbo jet landing will exert many more times the downward pressure on the runway surface than it will on takeoff, even though the weight of the aircraft is still pretty much the same. Light aircraft do no damage to runways at all.

A 40 tonne truck barrelling along a highway with constant weight shifting will definitely cause more damage than 1,000 car movements because mathematics prove it to be true.

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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 18:27

Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 18:27
Dusty , maths is one thing , often real life is another [ smile ] , Eg, 40 ton truck on the Tanami 1day after the grading crew have been through road ,is still like a six lane h/way [ smile ] ……… 1,000 4x4 on the Tanami on day 2 after the grader crew have been through = washboard corrugations for travellers on day 3…[ smile ].
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Follow Up By: Tim - Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 18:42

Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 18:42
Mate you could be right, what would the RTA know about road construction??? I am sure I have this blokes email somewhere, I will let him know he is wrong.
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Follow Up By: Dusty D - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 09:14

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 09:14
The principles of mathematics apply to everything in life Alloy, there are no exemptions. Without those principles, we would still be living in the dark ages and on that thought, we return to Qld roads.

What you say about the Tanami road is true, I’ve seen the same myself on many outback dirt roads. The thing is, a grader can repair a damaged dirt road at far less cost than what is required to repair a sealed road.

It has been well documented that the major cause of damage to our sealed highways comes from the dynamic wheel forces created by heavy vehicle body bounce and axle hop. There have been various complex tests carried out to find ways to minimise the damage, but there has been very little action on the recommendations.

It all comes back to the mighty dollar.

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Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 00:13

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 00:13
Yeh last year I was doing some service runs in the south west .... Miles, Stanthorpe, Goondoowindi, Toowoomba, Warwick, in between and surrounds.

Yeh some of the road leaves a bit to be desired ...... doing costal work, I'll take my 2wd it's faster smoother and quieter..... but heading west I'll take the 4wd ..... the bigger wheels, the extra ride height and the extra weigh make the trip a lot more comfortable and safer.

That section going into Miles, realy needs some work.

I would not want to be traveling a lot of those roads in a modern passenger car with its low clearance and low profile tyres.

A lot of it is to do with the black soil, and I don't think all of the roads have been repared since the last lot of floods.

There is also a problem now ...... we have higher road standards in QLD than we have had in the past ..... so when they rebuild roads, they have to meet the new standards ...... this includes things like wider verges, guard rails and better markings ...... this makes road rebuilds a lot more expensive so they tend not to get done as quickly.

If you travel the Bruce north from Brisbane, you can see sections of the new standard of road, where it has been rebuilt, with the old standard either side ...... like a 200meter section of road with wide verges improved road markings and guard rails.

Many of our roads simply are not compliant with current standards ..... nothing is more obvious than the section from Caboolture to Caloundra turn off.

The problem is the squeaky wheel gets the most oil ...... so if there is not "a problem" like road deaths & injuries, an economic impact ore some sort of ploitical leverage ..... nothing gets done.

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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 17:58

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 17:58
You can say what you like about the lack of funds and the engineering standards. The underlying thing is that if the ground under the road keeps moving then you will end up with the roller-coaster surface on a lot of Qld roads. The soils in Oz are not the same all over the countryside. Qld has more black soils than other states. There are roads in northern NSW like that, particularly the older sections of the Walgett Lightening Ridge road. There was mention above of roads where the road goes to pieces on one lane where there is heavier loads in one direction, the heavier loads just means the subsoil in a shorter time.

There are two ways you can fix that. One is to dig out the black soil until you get down to a more stable base (and how deep will that be) and back fill it with good road base. The other way would be a continuous viaduct with deep piles.
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