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Flood-damaged Queensland roads costing motorists, councils as repair bills mount

ABC NEWS logo ABC NEWS 23/05/2022
Potholes have emerged in roads across flood-hit areas of Queensland and they're posing dangerous and experience obstacles for drivers. (Supplied: Sunshine Coast Council) © Provided by ABC NEWS Potholes have emerged in roads across flood-hit areas of Queensland and they're posing dangerous and experience obstacles for drivers. (Supplied: Sunshine Coast Council)

Kay Manthei is one of many motorists in Queensland's south-east to be hit with expensive repair bills due to the state of the region's flood-damaged roads.

The Sunshine Coast woman started her week with a trip to her local tyre repair centre after her car hit a large pothole which damaged her front left wheel.

"I was out early and it was a bit dark, there was a pothole and I hit it," she said.

"My spare tyre was flat so the tow truck came this morning and brought me here and now it's all fixed up."

Ms Manthei said the state of Queensland's roads was beyond frustrating.

"There are a lot of potholes and people sort of doing silly things, not taking it steady," she said.

"It's a bit hard when it's dark and there's water on the road so you really don't see them. 

"But now I know where it is for sure, I'll try and avoid it."

Ms Manthei was just one of dozens of drivers who have suffered the same fate in the past few weeks according to a tyre repair centre owner.

David Knack owns Bob Jane T-Marts in Maroochydore and said his business alone repaired up to five cars per day with tyre damage caused by potholes.

"It's probably one of the worst times I've seen with cars coming in with damaged wheels and tyres," he said.

"Just this business alone — and there are 23 other tyre stores within three and a half kilometres of my store — we're getting two or three cars a day.

"Saturday, we would have had probably four or five for the day."

Repair bill will run into the 'millions'

Mr Knack believed council workers were struggling to repair damaged roads in a timely manner due to the sheer volume.

"There's just lots and lots of potholes and not necessarily too many of them being repaired," he said. 

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson estimated road damage would costs millions to repair.

He said unprecedented and lengthy wet weather events had impacted the region's road network.

"There's certainly been a lot of damage done to roads and a lot of that goes back to the [floods] in February," Cr Jamieson said.

"They're not going to be fixed overnight, because there's just so many of them.

"Rare weather events like this compound that and it will cost a lot of money for that all to be repaired over a period of time."

Cr Jamieson said he understood people's frustrations with the condition of roads and asked for patience.

"I've had people contacting me directly about their concerns around potholes in particular locations," Mr Jamieson said.

"I can't guarantee that it's going to be remedied anytime soon, because obviously the priority will be around those roads that have the most traffic."

Cost to drivers also adds up

Mr Knack said potholed roads were costly for motorists as well, with some spending up to $500 per tyre on repairs.

"Some tyres that get damaged are $100 tyres and some tyres you damage are $500 [to replace], so it depends on the vehicle," he said.

"If [the pothole is] big enough it can cause damage to the vehicle, the vehicle components and suspension.

"Then if you're talking suspension damage, that's a whole other thing."

Mr Knack said the best advice was to take is easy on the roads.

"Just drive drive a bit slower, try to give yourself room between the car in front of you so you can see the road," he said.

"That way you have a chance of dodging the pothole."

   

Video: Major flood warnings in place for parts of south east Queensland (9News.com.au)

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