The road to nowhere

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 20:08
ThreadID: 79037 Views:6431 Replies:2 FollowUps:7
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Last year whilst touring around the Cairns area we stumbled upon Black Mountain Road which is a track through the mountains from Kuranda to Mt Molloy. (A nice drive BTW). Halfway along this track there is a "new" unused bitumen hwy across the top of the mountains between Wangetti Beach and the Peninsular Dev Road north of Mareeba. Can any Qlders tell me why this excellent and obviously very expensive road cannot be used? It is blocked off and padlocked at each end !!! What a waste !! Has to be one of the better condition roads in the state and we cant use it. A local roadworker blackfeller laughed his head off when I asked him. "Stupid Govt built road and then closed it. Dunno why! Crazy !"

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Reply By: Tonyfish#58 - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 20:26

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 20:26
Basically it was built by Quaid Developer with out any approvals. It was built using substandard engineering practices.

Quaid tried to sell it over to the Council at the time who of course will have nothing to do with it. It would cost the rate payers in the long run.

So there it sits in limbo, a few have tried to get it as a n alternate route, but it needs too much money to bring up to the correct standard.

I have not inspected it to confirm, this is just the general story I have heard.

Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 419428

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 20:31

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 20:31
Quaid Road

Here is a link for you with the full story
FollowupID: 689615

Follow Up By: Ianw - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 20:49

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 20:49
Thanks Tony, just seems to be such a waste; the road seems to be in excellent condition. Great high speed drag strip, bet the local lads have some fun there !! Bit hard to get into it though.

FollowupID: 689624

Follow Up By: Spade Newsom - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 22:10

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 22:10
I drove the road when it opened in the late 1980s. It was opened for a couple of weeks before it got shut down.

The Quaid Rd was the best road going over the range in its day. Tonyfish reckons it is not up to standard. Maybe it wasn't built following the instruction manual but it was built to high standard.

George Quaid built the road to service a residential development he was trying to get off the ground south of Mt Molloy. The new road would have more than halved the commute time from the new estate to Cairns.

Uncle George had bought a property in the upper reaches of the Mitchell River. He cleared the trees, damed the River and now wanted to sell this off as lakeside acreage allotments.

The whole lot was done with no legal approval apart from a verbal go ahead from his good friend, the Minister for Everything, Russ Hinze. Minister Hinze was as corrupt as politicians get however he died before he got his day in court. Minister Hinze had planned to get it all sorted, however there was a change of government before the development was finished.

The greenies eventually got involved as the road went straight through the guts of what was being planned to be world heritage listed rainforest and the whole thing got squashed.

No Govt agencies were prepared to take on the road despite it being very popular. The road from Smithfield to the base of the Quaid Road needed millions spent on it just to meet the likely increase in traffic the Quaid Rd would have demanded.

This is the street version. The official version might be a bit different.
FollowupID: 689642

Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 22:47

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 22:47
That looks like it could be a huge asset to the Cairns region.
Repairs aside, how much would it cost to build it today from scratch?

my .02

FollowupID: 689645

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Friday, Jun 04, 2010 at 17:11

Friday, Jun 04, 2010 at 17:11
Stu & Bob - To full Main Road Standards you can allow a $1,000,000 a Km - 1/2 that for certain Main Road projects and To Shire - minor Road Standards around 1/2 again $250,000 a KM.

As I said I have not inspected it so have no idea of its quality, but have heard from people that have that there are many sections well below standard. You have to look beyond the road surface to notice faults.

Give the road a heap of truck traffic in the wet season and I would say there would be nothing left of it.

Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 689734

Reply By: donk - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 23:37

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 23:37
When the Quaid road was being built & still dirt we used to use it as a short cut for trips up north & it was a great road to drive on

Even when it was dirt you could do 100 kph pretty much all the way along & it looked like they basically knocked the top off mountains & pushed it into the next valley to make the road straight & flat

There was no secret that it was being built but i think that all the relevent authorities assumed that approval had been given & George Quaid probably thought that once it was there he would be able to use it

Remember back then in queensland Joh was in charge & his saying was "don't you worry about that"

Regards Don
AnswerID: 419462

Follow Up By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Friday, Jun 04, 2010 at 12:18

Friday, Jun 04, 2010 at 12:18
Joh was long gone by then.
FollowupID: 689702

Follow Up By: Spade Newsom - Friday, Jun 04, 2010 at 21:22

Friday, Jun 04, 2010 at 21:22
Joh was there when the project started.

If he had still been premier a couple of years longer the road would be fully operating.

Corruption makes the world go round.
FollowupID: 689762

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