B-triple operations suspended amid rising floodwaters

Heavy rain across large parts of the country continues to disrupt supply routes and impair heavy vehicle access.

In Western Australia and parts of the Northern Territory transport disruptions are ongoing with flood events making heavy vehicle access into the Eastern Kimberley now unachievable.

The Western Roads Federation confirmed that over 900 kilometres of main roads and at least a 1,000 kilometres of local roads were closed as a result of rising rivers and catchments. Vehicle access into Fitzroy Crossing was now considered impossible.

In NSW, where ongoing flooding continued to plague large parts of the state, Hi-Trans Express had suspended its B-triple roadtrains after it was deemed too unsafe to operate the vehicles.

For drivers moving between NSW and Queensland access via the New England, Newell, Carnarvon and Pacific Highways had been either closed or heavily affected by flooding with significant delays expected.

Although it had completed all of its planned linehaul transits Tuesday night without incident or fatigue breaches the company said it was experiencing significant delays.

“The current conditions, forecast and road closures have been carefully considered and we have deemed it too unsafe,” Hi-Trans said in a statement.

“We are however, operating our interstate linehauls with limited freight and alternative routes where required so please prepare for extended transit times.”

Like many other interstate freight carriers, Hi-Trans was monitoring conditions closely as further rainfall was forecast and expected to effect already rising waters from Grafton to the Gold Coast and further inland near the Moree area.

Kempsey, where Brisbane-Sydney driver changeovers occur, was under evacuation orders as was low-lying areas of the Lower Macleay.

Drivers on runs between Townsville, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne had been instructed to head inland and take the New England and Newell Highways to avoid coastal flood affected areas.

Further north, the Logan River at Beaudesert currently sits at a height of 12.3m. It has a major flood level height of 8.3m.

Residents and visitors are urged to remain cautious on the roads for localised impacts and not attempt to drive through floodwaters or cross flooded bridges.

Meanwhile, parts of the Gold Coast have received nearly 300mm of rain in the past 48 hours with emergency crews receiving well over 600 calls for help.

Areas of the Pacific Highway are still closed.