Trucks force businesses to close doors
By Courtney Osborne
AT least two Airlie Beach main street businesses closed their doors last week because of an increase in passing trucks creating noise, dust and fumes.
One local business owner recorded 28 trucks passing her shopwithin 15 minutes from 8.10am last Thursday.
She described the street as being filled with black smoke and dust.
"It's been going on a week or so; it's pollution like bloody Bangkok."
Another business owner said she was getting headaches each day by 10am because of the toxic fumes coming from the trucks' exhausts.
The manner in which the trucks were being driven also caused concern to business owners, who said the trucks were "rally driving" around the corner off Shute Harbour Road into Waterson Way.
Business owners contacted Whitsunday Shire Council about the heavy traffic flows several times and by Monday the trucks had backed off.
Though the issue was resolved, it raised the question of how Shute Harbour Road will support the ongoing flow of trucks for increasing developments in areas such as Jubilee Pocket and Port Of Airlie.
Council's Infrastructure Services executive manager Phil Holloway said there are no other routes for heavy vehicles to take apart from Waterson Way leading onto Shute Harbour.
"At this stage, the long-term plan is to divert traffic through Waterson way, so trucks won't go through the majority of the main street," Mr Holloway said.
"Council would not like to see an increase of heavy traffic through residential areas, so that's why roads such as Waterson Way or Shute Harbour Road are the preferred heavy truck routes."
Mr Holloway said a road to bypass the entire Airlie Beach main street couldn't be made because the land between Golden Orchid Drive and Hermitage Drive was too steep.