The wet season means flooded roads isolate Airlie Beach. The wet season in the Whitsundays means impossible humidity from the non-stop rain. It means flooded roads throughout Whitsunday Shire. It means tourists and visitors stranded as Airlie Beach is isolated by flood water submerging Shute Harbour Road, the main (and only) road to the Whitsunday tourism areas. It means ever more water damage to roads.
The roads through Airlie Beach are damaged by multiple heavy vehicles carrying rocks and sand to the Port of Airlie Marina construction site, and many other nearby Airlie Beach construction sites along the developers road and hermitage Drive. I have to wonder just who is paying to repair these damaged roads?
Perhaps Whitsunday Regional Council have some clever scheme to get the State government Main Roads department to pay for repairs to the developer's road? They are talking of changing the name of Waterson Way, making this diversion Shute Harbour Road. Then they will have a competition to rename the single block through the middle of Airlie Beach.
It could be worse. The Port of Airlie Marina construction site is so large that almost all their actual truck and crane movements (except rock and sand) are along their own internal work roads, not along Whitsunday Shire roads. Even so, throughout June and until about September 2008, there were two safety jacketed flagmen stopping tourist traffic in the middle of Airlie Beach to let large rock and sand delivery trucks drive safely through the intersection in the middle of Airlie Beach. These flagmen were in position before the 7 a.m. construction start.
A three car crash on Shute Harbour Road at Stanley Drive, Cannonvale blocked access to and from Airlie Beach and the entire Whitsunday area for an hour and a half on Friday 31 October 2008. The Whitsunday Times points out the perils of having only one road into and out of the entire area. The ten injured people were taken to Proserpine Hospital.
School Zone protecting Whitsunday children removed. There has long been a School Zone on Shute Harbour Road, helping protect the children attending Cannonvale State School. The flashing lights at this School Zone warn motorists to slow down to 40 kph. However a Traffic Advisory Committee decided to remove the School Zone at a meeting in October 2008. The basis is Queensland Transport Safety Guidelines that School Zones are not allowed on multilane roads.
Perhaps the people who changed Shute Harbour Road to multilane should have thought about schools before the only road into the entire area was made wider? Perhaps it is an indication that packing more and more people into an area that can be isolated by failure of a single road is not appropriate?
Pothole damage after the March 2011 floods has been a real issue. Local Whitsunday Roads were damaged in many area. Continued rain prevented easy patches. The Bruce Highway was as usual cut completely in several places. The airport was isolated, without flights on 29 and 30 March 2011. There is no all weather access to anyplace north.
Where the Rainforest meets the Sea, until the developers arrived, and the golden sand comes in dump trucks.