Long-time motorists along key arterial roads are calling for the fast-tracking of basic safety works as fears about potential serious and fatal crashes rise because of what they say are deteriorating conditions.
Brindabella and Boboyan Road users have ramped up their calls for more grading works and safety upgrades, saying the worsening conditions also affect tourists and emergency services.
Wayne West, who has travelled on Brindabella Road since the 80s, said the Canberra side near Piccadilly Circus "is the worst I've seen in the last 50 years" and that Mr Steel's office had not returned his calls.
"I've never seen holes in the road exceed 300mm deep," he said.
I have a very high pain threshold, but if I had to go [along the road] in an ambulance now, it would be horrendous.Wayne West
"I've never seen rocks on the road that's 240mm high lying in the middle of the road.
"And the mayhem last snow season was typical reflection of the condition at that particular time."
Mr West said the road had not been graded for about 12 months after Mr Steel told the Tumut and Adelong Times in August last year that maintenance grading was done 2-4 times per year for the 8.7km unsealed section.
He said he was also concerned about access for emergency services.
"A few years ago I had an accident and needed 16 screws in my face. The pain of being transported on that dirt road was far greater than the accident," Mr West said.
"I have a very high pain threshold, but if I have to go in an ambulance now, it would be horrendous."
Elsewhere, Bobeyan Road User group member Damian De Marco said Mr Steel had not responded to their calls for extra safety upgrades after their warnings last month that conditions could severely hamper emergency services, tourism and businesses.
In response, Mr Steel's office told The Sunday Canberra Times that construction was already underway on sections of Brindabella Road to improve safety.
"Design work is progressing for barriers and traffic control devices, such as signage and speed limit reductions, on the sealed sections of Brindabella Road between Cotter Road and Wombat Creek within the ACT," a spokesperson said.
"We undertake regular inspections of roads across the ACT and work to address legitimate immediate safety concerns as soon as possible.
"Roads ACT can inspect the area around Piccadilly Circus to make sure that it remains safe for use."
As for Boboyan Road, the spokesperson said Mr Steel had written to Mr De Marco.
"Works are currently underway to remediate the road, which is in an environmentally sensitive rural area," they said.
A total of 2km in the south have already been rehabilitated and work is now occurring on the next 2km.
This work is broken into two sections:
- Starting at the border of sealed asphalt and gravel road, extending south for one kilometre towards the NSW border.
- A one-kilometre section starting just north of the ACT/NSW border, including Brayshaw's Hut carpark.
These works will address safety hazards created in both dry and wet conditions by reconstructing the existing gravel road surface and includes associated earthworks and drainage improvements.
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