Western Australia Minister for Transport Simon O’Brien
Work Commences On $14 Million Coalfields Highway Upgrade
Victor P Taffa
Upgrading Works on Coalfields Highway have begun with a contract being awarded today for improvements between Allanson and Collie.
Transport Minister Simon O’Brien said that Southern Road Services would be carrying out the works as part of the Liberal-National Government’s Ongoing Program to upgrade the Coalfields Highway.
Mr. O’Brien said the State Government’s allocation of $14 Million in the current and next financial year represented the first capital works funding for the highway since the previous Coalition Government in 2000.
“The initial works on Coalfields Highway, which are part of a $4million allocation in the current financial year, will start in the coming weeks and involve the widening, overlay and reconstruction of 4.15km of the highway, between Collie and the Bibbulmun Track crossover.” the Minister said.
“Further works between the Bibbulmun Track Crossover and Allanson Townsite will follow shortly, once Aboriginal heritage investigations are complete.”
“Upgrades to other sections of the Highway as far west as Wellington Dam Road will occur in subsequent years.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“Funding for Further Improvements will be sought through the Budget Process.”
The Minister, who recently inspected the road and discussed safety issues with local residents and Shire of Collie representatives, said there were some sections of the highway where the shoulders were unsealed, the geometry was poor and adjacent vegetation was close to the road.
“The highway is being widened to include a 10 m wide seal, providing two 3.5 m wide lanes, as well as an additional 1.5m of sealed shoulder on each side.” the Minister said.
“A further one metre of unsealed shoulder will also be built and a clear zone established between the edge of the road and adjacent vegetation.”
The work will improve road safety for locals, tourists and the increasing amount of Transport Traffic using the Highway.
“This is one of the many important roads across the State totally ignored under Labor, and members of the local community should be justifiably outraged.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“During the period of the previous Labor government from 2001 to 2008, no capital works funding was allocated to Coalfields Highway, despite successive budget surpluses.”
“The last major capital investment on the Highway on the Western Section between Roelands and the Wellington Dam turn-off was during the Court Government.” Mr. O’Brien said.