Traffic tension rises at Stewart Rd interchange
By JADE BILOWOL
EACH morning, Luke Woods is gripped by nerves. And the tension only eases when the Currumbin Waters resident is certain a dreaded phone call will not eventuate. "My two daughters drive through the northbound merg- ing lane of the Stewart Road Interchange each morning to get to work and I fear for them," Mr Woods said. "They leave at 8.30am and when it is 9am I think, 'They must be safe now'." Mr Woods, who is the presi- dent of the Marlin Waters Neighbourhood Watch, said as he recently collected signa- tures for a petition in protest of dangerous conditions at the interchange, he detected build- ing community distress. "I was amazed at the num- ber of people who said they refuse to negotiate the north and south-bound merges," Mr Woods said. "And these are experienced drivers, who re- cognise the danger." Mr Woods said the north- bound merge past the loop at the interchange was particu- larly dangerous because traf- fic travelling at 60kmh was expected to merge, very quickly, into traffic travelling at 80kmh. Currumbin MP Jann Stuck- ey said she had received more than 1300 petitions gath- ered by Currumbin Waters resident Dallas White in a bid to encourage the state govern- ment to make the interchange safer. "The interchange was opened in December after con- siderable delay, however here
we are in March and it is still not complete - Main Roads hopes to get the con- tractor to complete the project by Easter but residents have their doubts whether this will improve the safety condi- tions," Ms Stuckey said. Her office had been inun-
dated with calls from resi- dents who were scared for their life every time they en- tered or exited the M1 at Stewart Road. "I too have experienced the terror of trying to merge into difficult to see oncoming traf- fic," Ms Stuckey said.