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PDR unlikely to be fixed by Easter: TMR

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By MATT NICHOLLS

CAPE York’s tourist operators have been dealt an early blow to 2021 as hopes of a bumper Easter will likely be hampered by road conditions.

Musgrave Roadhouse owner John McDowall called for TMR to start repairing and grading the Peninsula Developmental Road as soon as possible after the wet season.

Cape York is experiencing a fairly typical wet season in 2020-21.

“We’ve got a lot of people wanting to do the Cape this year and we thought we might be busier than usual over Easter,” he said.

However, a TMR spokesman told Cape York Weekly it was unlikely that post-wet season work would start before Easter.

“Grading and repair works start about May each year. Timing depends on the duration and severity of the wet season,” he said last week.

“We understand the importance of providing safe, reliable access to Cape York communities and have been doing so for decades. We aim to re-open the PDR as soon as possible after the annual wet season.”

Cape York tourism operators are bracing for the busiest season in years following the closure of international borders and a surge in domestic tourism.

However, the condition of the PDR is critical to their business.

Repairs on the Cape York road network should be able to start by mid-March.

The good news is that TMR says more grading will likely happen throughout the year.

“In the interest of safety, we would increase the frequency of grading and maintenance activities if there were increased traffic volumes,” the spokesman said.

Another 18km of bitumen will be laid this year, including:

 4.9km between Kennedy and Rocky Creek.

 10.1km between Merluna and York Downs.

 3km from Musgrave to Red Blanket.

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