The $54 million project was jointly funded by the Commonwealth (80 per cent) and State Government (20 per cent).
MACA Civil Pty Ltd was awarded the contract to realign and reconstruct the four-kilometre section of road and commenced works in July 2018.
The upgrade works also included the construction of culverts and off-road drainage and the installation of safety barriers, signs, pavement markings, guideposts and pastoral fencing.
This section of Marble Bar Road services several mining operations and local communities between Newman, Nullagine, Marble Bar, Port Hedland and several Aboriginal communities.
The realignment of Marble Bar Road through Coongan Gorge will significantly improve road safety, reduce transport vehicle operating costs and travel times for all road users making their way through the region.
The Limestone Road-Marble Bar Road intersection was also upgraded as part of these works.
The project team faced some challenges through the delivery phase with unseasonably dry weather affecting water supplies for the project followed by Tropical Cyclone Veronica bringing record rainfall to the region.
As stated by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack:
“Marble Bar Road is an important route for both the local community and mining industry in the Pilbara, used by mining companies in the East Pilbara to access Port Hedland for export.”
As stated by WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Several hundred heavy vehicles use this section of road on a daily basis, along with passenger vehicles traveling between local communities and towns.
“Drivers were previously required to negotiate narrow lanes, tight curves and restrictive sight lines, not to mention speed limits as low as 40kmph.
“The upgrade to Marble Bar Road is essential to ongoing economic development and for connecting local communities in the central Pilbara region.
“The upgrade has made travel in the region safer and more accessible, and I would like to thank the local community for their patience while this significant project was being delivered.”
As stated by Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price:
“The upgrade to Marble Bar Road is essential to ongoing economic development and for connecting local communities in the central Pilbara region.”
As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
“This upgrade to Marble Bar Road will improve safety and connectivity for tourism, industry, and the inland Pilbara community.
“The upgrade has delivered local jobs and has effectively engaged local Aboriginal businesses.”