Council plans to use grant funding to further widen the surface of Esk Crows Nest Rd.
Council plans to use grant funding to further widen the surface of Esk Crows Nest Rd.

Council pursuing funds to improve integral roadway

A ONE-million-dollar upgrade to an integral roadway could soon be underway if the Somerset Council is successful in securing grant funds.

The Drought Communities Program provides grants of up to $1 million to support capital works projects in rural, drought-impacted communities.

Last year, Somerset Regional Council used the funds to undertake safety and productivity improvements along Esk-Crows Nest Rd, including widening and fencing upgrades.

The project was successful in generating work for 20 tradespeople, and granted improved access to transport operators in the area.

The council is hoping to secure the next round of funding to further upgrade that section of road.

“We’ve used the success of that project as a lobbying tool,” Director of Finance Geoffrey Smith said.

“The issue of these projects is the government wants these things done very quickly, but it can take us some time to put it all together.”

Should the council be successful in securing the funding, the road project will need to be delivered before December 31, 2019.

Esk-Crows Nest Rd is a major transportation route for produce farmers and cattle producers, with an average traffic count of 90 trucks per day.

The road is also used for maintenance vehicles operating on the nearby Wivenhoe Dam to Toowoomba pipeline project.


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