This dangerous, unsealed road needs urgent attention.
That’s the simple message from the Northside Progress Association after another motor vehicle accident on the notorious Maria River Road on Wednesday March 7.
In the latest incident, a semi trailer carting fertiliser to a local producer rolled over on a corner some 10 kilometres north of the intersection with Shoreline Drive.
Association president Carla McKern said the latest crash was further evidence that the road needed more maintenance, if not sealing.
In February, the association was informed that a joint funding bid between Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and the neighbouring Kempsey Shire Council to seal the link road to Crescent Head had been refused.
“Sealing the road must become a priority. It can only be an improvement. Obviously, the regular maintenance of this poorly construction and poorly maintained road also needs to be urgently addressed,” the association president said.
“Clearly, no matter the cause of this incident, sealing the road must be an improvement.
“Even emergency service vehicles suffered a flat tyre attending the crash site. That is further testament to calls for the sealing of the road.”
Mrs McKern said the use of the road between Port Macquarie and Crescent Head is not going to change. “But the number of incidents being reported is increasing,” she said.
Obviously, the regular maintenance of this poorly construction and poorly maintained road also needs to be urgently addressed.Carla McKern
“This dangerous and unseal road needs attention.
“We will be calling on council to increase the level of maintenance in the first instance.”
The semi-trailer was hauling 22, one tonne bags of fertiliser for a Kempsey trucking company when it rolled over on a corner immediately north of Mundays Lane.
The driver of the vehicle was shaken but uninjured.
Emergency service vehicles were unable to reach the vehicle for more than 30 minutes after the call out coincided with a breakdown of the Settlement Point Ferry.
Emergency services had to travel to the scene via the Hibbard Ferry.
Fire and Rescue NSW's Port Macquarie station officer Geoff Peacock said the call out was received about 1pm.
"Luckily the driver was not trapped or injured in the incident," he said.
"The truck was hauling big bags of fertiliser and has rolled over negotiating a corner of the road on the north side of Mundays Lane.
"Traffic will still be able to move along Maria River Road until a crane is onsite to remove the fertiliser bags and right the semi trailer.
"But we will be here for several hours."
Some 20 litres of hydraulic oil, five litres of engine oil and 'only a few litres of diesel' were spilled at the crash site.
Police and RTA investigations into the crash are continuing.
Paramedics, the Hazmat vehicle and RFS units from North Shore, Sancrox and Lake Innes brigades also attended.
Wednesday’s crash also further highlights the need for extended ferry operating hours.