Work ramps up on Cunninghams Gap

Final preparations are underway ahead of repairs to a two-kilometre section of the Cunningham Highway at Cunninghams Gap, which was extensively damaged by the 2019 bushfires.

The work, which will be completed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) along with contractor, McIlwain Civil Engineering, will occur from Monday 9 October 2023 through to Friday 8 December 2023.

Assistance is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, (DRFA).

Key features of the project, to be constructed by mid-2025, include:

  • Scaling and stabilising the slope above the road to reduce the risk of rockfalls.
  • Rockfall protection systems:
    • About 20,000m² of rockfall protection mesh to be installed on the upslope.
    • Over 1km of fencing at the bottom of the slope to catch falling rocks.
  • Retaining walls on the downslope to enable sufficient carriageway width to install upslope catch fencing.
  • Replacing and constructing additional concrete barriers.
  • Major reconstruction works at the Gap cutting.
  • Guardrail with rubrail to protect motorcycle riders from impacts with posts.
  • Wide centre line treatment to increase separation of opposing traffic.
  • Constructing an emergency stopping bay 1km before the Alan Cunningham monument.
  • Pavement works to restore the surface of the highway.
  • Technology to monitor geotechnical systems that will provide real time data of potential large scale rock displacement.
  • Work around the Main Range National Park carpark to maintain safety of highway traffic, visitors to the Gap crest and pedestrians.

Scaling and stabilisation works will continue over the coming months on the slope above the road. This work will be undertaken by highly skilled rope access technicians.

Following this work, the removal of the 18 shipping containers will begin. While most work associated with the removal will be undertaken behind the safety barriers, intermittent traffic holds will be required for large machinery to safely remove and transport these shipping containers. The shipping containers will be replaced by fencing.

Activities to be undertaken below the road in the coming months include vegetation removal, earthworks, drainage and construction of retaining walls.

DTMR thanks all drivers and local residents for their feedback and patience during the repair of Cunninghams Gap