The McGowan Government has broken ground on pre-construction works for Stage One of the Bussell Highway dual carriageway project, with the $4.5 million project tender awarded to Fulton Hogan Ltd.
The pre-works will pave the way for construction to begin on the 5km section between Capel Bypass and Hutton Road – once funding can be secured from the Federal Government.
The State Government has been lobbying the Commonwealth Government to roll the Bussell Highway upgrades into the Bunbury Outer Ring Road (BORR) project, and this early work will ensure construction can begin quickly when funding is secured.
The BCP/Kaartdijin Joint Venture is undertaking the project on Fulton Hogan’s behalf, engaging local Aboriginal people and supporting local jobs during the works.
The pre-loading works for Stage One have commenced and are expected to be completed by January 2020.
This major project milestone will see land along sections of the road compacted with sandfill, which will need to remain in place for up to 12 months prior to commencing construction.
Construction work for Stage One could commence in late 2020, subject to funding being secured.
Commuters and southbound travellers are asked to plan their journey in advance as there will be disruption while works are in progress, with increased truck movements along the highway.
Preparation works, including design and environmental approvals, for Stage Two of the project are continuing. Stage Two will include construction of a 12 kilometre section of carriageway between Hutton Road and Busselton, along with three bridges.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“I am very pleased the McGowan Government has got this project moving after so many years of false starts by those who came before us.
“We are lobbying the Federal Government hard to roll the full project into the BORR, but in the meantime, we’re not sitting still.
“I have written to the Federal Minister requesting that some of the $1.2 billion set aside for the flawed Perth Freight Link project is redirected to this project.
“Completing these pre-works now will mean once funding is secured, we will be ready start work faster.
“The engagement of the BCP/Kaartdijin Joint Venture will support local Aboriginal employment, which is a terrific added outcome for this important project.
“Once complete, the Bussell Highway will be able to better cater for holiday traffic, while also improving overall safety and normal daily travel times between Bunbury and Busselton.”
Comments from Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
“Bussell Highway has suffered congestion and safety issues for many years now, so it is very pleasing the McGowan Government has been the one to finally get this project moving.
“The need to dual the road has been one of the biggest local issues for the Capel, Busselton and wider South-West communities, and we are committed to fighting hard to make sure this project can be delivered as part of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.”
Comments from Bunbury MLA Don Punch:
“This project has been a priority for the community for a number of years so I am really proud to be part of a government that is getting on with the job to make sure the dual carriageway people have been calling for becomes a reality.
“This is another example of an investment by the McGowan Government supporting jobs in our region with a local business being engaged to undertake the project with local workers.
“The improvements to Bussell Highway will deliver for our community in so many ways; by supporting local jobs, improving road safety and enhancing the visitor experience to support the tourism industry.”