One of the most popular motorcycle routes on the east coast of Australia is a beneficiary of the Queensland border closures due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Kyogle Council in northern NSW has taken full advantage of the border closure where concrete barriers were placed across the Lions Rd which links Kyogle with Rathdowney in South East Queensland over the Border Ranges.
While the Queensland/NSW border has been closed for several months during the pandemic, Kyogle Council has substantially upgraded the road, says council Director Assets and Infrastructure Services Tony Lickiss.
I reckon it’s one of the most challenging and scenic roads for motorcyclists in the region and was even the venue for the short-lived Lions Road TT.
However, the most northern section which ascends to the border was a disgrace and quite dangerous for riders.
On Monday I was one of the last through the border during its brief opening before the Premier again locked down with a concrete barrier.
The road is now super-smooth with a grippy coarse-chip surface and thankfully very little gravel left after the roadworks. It’s an absolute joy.
You can still ride the road, despite the barriers.
However, NSW riders will have to turn back at the border and Queensland riders will have to get a border pass and cross on the Mt Lindesay Highway, turn left down the Summerland Way and go up the Lions Rd before doing a u-turn to come home.
It’s certainly worth the effort.
Kyogle Council have spent $850,000 upgrading the road, fixing surface and pavement defects, widening sections and repairing/replacing drainage structures.
The seal is a traditional 10mm chip seal overlaying a 14mm chip seal (14/10 double-double) which provides plenty of traction.
Tony says council specifically programmed these works to be undertaken during the border closure to limit disruption.
And it gets better!
Council has $220,000 of guardrail works to be completed which will involve the extension of the existing rails and the installation of a motorcycle safety rail for the length of the guardrail.
No wire rope barriers!
“These works were to be done under traffic control, however with the recent re-closure of the road these works will be done under the closure,” Tony says.