Springborg still fighting for 8 Mile fix
OUR local member Lawrence Springborg says the ball is now in the State Government's court and that it is up to them to secure funding for an overpass at the Eight Mile intersection.
The infamous intersection, located just outside of Warwick, has resulted in numerous serious crashes and claimed the lives of seven people since 2008.
Members of the Warwick and District Community Road Safety Group have spent close to a decade lobbying local politicians, governments and the Department of Transport and Main Roads to do something about the dangerous intersection.
The optimum solution, which was decided on after years of discussion, is an overpass to separate the traffic.
Mr Springborg, who has been a strong advocate for the intersection upgrade, said when he was in office concept designs were being done up by the Department of Main Roads for an overpass.
"The main aim was to just separate the traffic," Mr Springborg said.
"Main Roads engineers had come up with various preliminary designs on how to make this happen.
"This started about 12-18 months ago.
"I have no idea what stage this is up to now."
Close to two years ago the State and Federal Governments at that time agreed an overpass was needed.
They acknowledged 20% of the funding would come from the State Government's pockets and the remaining 80% from the Federal Government Budget.
While no exact figure or costings for the project have ever been done Mr Springborg said the upgrade would easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.
None of the region's leaders, or community advocates for the project were surprised to hear that the project was missing from the Federal Government's latest budget.
Mr Springborg said there was no way the Federal Government would ever consider funding the project unless it was listed as a priority by the State Government.
"We had it listed as a priority project," Mr Springborg said.
"The current State Government is refusing to list it as such."
Mr Springborg said he was calling on the state government to list it as a priority project and help end the carnage on our highway.
"I have always said that we can't expect the funding, this year or next year, but the government has to prioritise the project for it to be considered in the forward estimates," he said.
Several small upgrades have taken place at the Eight-Mile since the campaigning began. The speed limit was reducced to 60kmh, signs have been erected to highligh the intersection as a high crash zone and sight barriers to block traffic from view have been installed.
Warwick and District Community Road Safety Group vice president David Kemp holds fixing the eight-mile very close to his heart.
Mr Kemp had lobbied the relevant agencies until he was blue in the face.
He said the small changes made had certainly made a difference.
But he is not holding his breath for an overpass.
"We are not going to get an overpass," he said.
"They just don't listen to anything we say."
The group's chairman Graham Buchner said he understood that the Federal Government had a tight budget and many important projects to fund.
But he said this project had been waiting long enough.
The State Government failed to respond to an inquiry from the Daily News about its stand on the notorious intersection by the time of print.