Construction kicks off on North West Coastal Highway

Media Release

JB121/2014

06 November 2014

Joint release with:

Hon. Sen. Mathias Cormann

Minister for Finance;
Senator for Western Australia

Hon. Dean Nalder MLA

WA Minister for Transport and Finance

Melissa Price MP

Federal Member for Durack

The Australian and Western Australian governments are getting on with building world class roads with construction on the $218 million North West Coastal Highway upgrade to begin this month.

Road builder Maca Civil Pty Ltd has been awarded a $25.3 million contract to undertake major construction works on Stage 1 between Minilya and Mia-Mia.

Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs said the upgrades will support local jobs and increase the economic performance of the highway which is the main link between Geraldton, Carnarvon, Karratha and Port Hedland.

“This section of highway carries 500 vehicles every day with more than 37 per cent being heavy vehicles, and this number is expected to grow in the years ahead,” he said.

“Upgrading this major freight route to a world class standard is essential to supporting economic growth and driving further investment in the Western Australian mining, oil and gas industry.”

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said the North West Coastal Highway upgrade also includes the construction of two bridges over low-level floodway crossings at Cave Creek and Goodeman Creek between Barradale and Nanutarra.

“Bridging works in Stage 2 will improve the reliability of the highway during the wet season and reduce the likelihood of closures, which affect the movement of food and freight in the Gascoyne, which grows horticultural produce for Perth and the Pilbara,” Ms Price said.

“This project will address the problems associated with predicted traffic growth, including heavy vehicles, and safety concerns, due to the age of the road and its narrow seal width.”

Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann said the Australian Government is committed to investing in transport infrastructure projects, which support growth of the resources and agricultural sectors in Western Australia.

“With new mining developments in the Northern Gascoyne and Western Pilbara, traffic has grown significantly, and is forecast to continue growing by six per cent per annum.

“This project will improve the efficiency and safety of freight transport in north Western Australia, as well as provide improved access for regional communities.”

Western Australian Minister for Transport Dean Nalder said Stage 1 works will involve widening 9 kilometres of highway, and resurfacing and widening another 28 kilometres between Minilya and Mia-Mia.

“Stage 1 works will also see the existing 6.2 metre wide seal increased to 9 metres, including a 1 metre wide sealed shoulder,” Mr Nalder said.

“Works on Stage 1 of the North West Coastal Highway upgrade are scheduled for completion prior to October 2015, conditions permitting.”

The Australian Government has committed up to $174 million to the project with the Western Australian Government funding the remaining $44 million.