Morris slams premature plaque party

STATE Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne had ignored safety issues on the Lyell Highway in order to prematurely declare a recent upgrade had been completed, Greens MHA Tim Morris said last week. He said Mr O’Byrne’s recent plaque unveiling had been carried out while works were still ongoing and despite a lack of speed signage on a significant portion of the highway.

Mr Morris said the minister had asserted that the safety of the highway had been “greatly enhanced,” but the safety of the the roadworks was compromised by inconsistent speed zone signage. “The minister unveiled a plastic plaque that had been sticky-taped to a concrete plinth, which seemed to be a perfect example of the unfinished state of the roadworks themselves,” Mr Morris said. The plastic plaque has since gone missing.

“Despite the minister’s declaration … that the roadworks were complete and that the safety of the Lyell Hwy has now been ‘greatly enhanced’, there are still workers on the roadside,” Mr Morris said. In the last week, workers have painted white circles around patches of the new road surface which have already pot-holed.

At the time of Mr Morris’ comments last week, there was still a lack of consistent speed signs on a significant portion of the route. “Travelling west from Granton to New Norfolk the Highway is limited to 80km/h, but in the other direction, after leaving the New Norfolk speed limit area, the limit is 100km/h all the way to, and through, the roundabout at Granton,” he said.

Temporary speed signs were installed on Thursday and made permanent on Friday. Also on Friday, a speed camera vehicle spent part of the day monitoring cars in the merging zone at the New Norfolk end of the Murphys Flats overtaking lanes.

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