Scenic Sunshine Coast Hinterland route now safer, more resilient

With almost 3,000km of local roads and bridges to maintain throughout its region, Sunshine Coast Council places a premium on keeping roads and those who use them safe.

But that commitment to road and community safety was tested in early 2022 by severe weather that took a large toll on the local road network and council’s ability to keep parts of the road network open.

Persistent heavy rain from February to May triggered 12 major landslips that caused significant damage to 11 roads across the Sunshine Coast region.

Among the worst affected was Bald Knob Road, a 10-kilometre scenic route that connects the hinterland localities of Bald Knob and Peachester. 

With the road closed, motorists were forced to seek alternative routes, which added time and distance to their journeys, while council engineers set about the task of finding ways to not just repair the road but rebuild it to a better standard.

Due to the severity of damage to the road, considerable time and money were devoted to designing and then making the repairs to improve the road's resilience to future severe weather events. 

To reduce the inconvenience to motorists, once repair works were underway traffic control measures were used to partially reopen the road, allowing drivers and riders access on one lane.

Building on an innovative approach in the design stage, the repair work carried out on Bald Knob Road included downslope landslip rectification works, installing a mass gravity block wall, and rockfill installation for a 40-metre section of road.

Costing more than $898,000, the result is a safer, more resilient road, designed to remain in place in the event of another severe weather disaster.

Funding provided by the Australian and Queensland Governments under the joint Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements has allowed Sunshine Coast Council to repair Bald Knob Road and 10 more roads damaged by 2022’s big wet.

Other repaired roads include Policeman Spur Road at Wootha, Leeding Road at Glenview, Perrins Road at Eudlo, First Bay at Coolum, River Road at Peachester, Narrows Road at Montville, Towen Mountain Road at Towen Mountain, Hovard Road at Bald Knob, Tanawha Tourist Drive at Tanawha, and Old Maleny Road at Landsborough.

The cost of rebuilding the damaged roads is estimated at $15 million.

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority works closely with local councils and other agencies to support recovery works in the wake of natural disasters.