Council to fund ferry traffic analysis

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A new engineering traffic analysis will be conducted for the Daintree River ferry. IMAGE: Supplied.
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RESIDENTS north of the Daintree River will play a key role in Douglas Shire Council’s engineering traffic analysis at the Daintree River Ferry crossing, which will be released to market in the very near future.

“Council will be taking its findings to the community who live north of the Daintree River to hear what they have to say,” said Mayor Julia Leu.

“Consultation will be ongoing and Council will ensure views of all stakeholders are considered collectively with feedback received so far.” 

Leu said it was vital for contemporary statistics to guide the future of the river crossing beyond 2021.

“Council makes decisions on unbiased and factual data so it is absolutely crucial we have accurate statistics that reflects the current state of play,” she said.

The analysis forms part of a comprehensive project strategy for the renewal of the ferry contract in 2021.
Council has resolved to progress the project and absorb the costs in the 2018/19 Annual Budget Review after an unsuccessful state government grant application ($100,000).

A scientific analysis will determine the most appropriate traffic management approach in line with industry standards before it is discussed with the community. 

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Leu said the analysis was critically important to planning and determining the infrastructure needed at the crossing.

“An up-to-date traffic analysis is smart financial management for all residents who live in Douglas Shire,” she said.

“This is about pin-pointing data. Engineering modelling will be used to test various upgrades options and other demand management controls that could relieve congestion.

“This analysis will quantify the delays and will allow Council to review its current level of service at the Daintree River.”

Council anticipates road carrying capacity, peak hour demand and duration of the peak will be accurately determined. The assessment aims to detail current congestion issues and model high level solutions, such as a second ferry, bridge or other travel demand initiatives.

This will then be developed into a strategic transport plan. Submissions for the Daintree River Ferry Contract renewal close on September 30, before the next round of consultation begins.

Tenders will be invited no later than June 30 next year to allow sufficient time for potential service providers to submit tenders and ensure they are ready to start after the current ferry contract expires on June 30, 2021.

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