McGowan Government invests millions to upgrade Wheatbelt roads

  • Millions of dollars invested to upgrade Wheatbelt roads through the Black Spot and Safer Roads programs
  • Black Spot Program funding to target roads identified as high-risk to improve road safety
  • $7.6 million will be invested in the Safer Roads Program in the Wheatbelt to make the local road network safer
  • The State Budget delivered more than $2 billion for regional roads

The McGowan Labor Government will invest millions of dollars into upgrading dangerous roads in the Wheatbelt region, through the 2018-19 Black Spot and Safer Roads programs.

Premier Mark McGowan joined local MPs Darren West and Laurie Graham today to inspect the section of Great Eastern Highway that is receiving funding under the Black Spot Program.

The Black Spot Program is a joint State-local government initiative, with the McGowan Government providing $20 million and local governments funding the remaining $5 million.

The program targets improvements to roads with a proven crash history and cost-effective treatments. Wheatbelt roads receiving funding in 2018-19 include:

  • $1.1 million for the Bakers Hill Improvement Project – upgrades to the section of Great Eastern Highway between Berry Brow Road and Tames Road to improve safety for pedestrians and road users;
  • $1.3 million to upgrade York-Merredin Road at Ashton Street (Shire of Quairading) – Main Roads is realigning and widening the intersections in close proximity to Ashton Street in the township of Quairading to improve the traffic flow around a rail crossing, BP garage and rest area;
  • $650,000 to upgrade the York-Merredin Road at Totadgin Hall Road (Shire of Merredin);
  • $28,667 to upgrade Sippe Road/Eujinin North Road (Shire of Bruce Rock);
  • $51,333 to upgrade the intersection at Bodey Street and Harper Street (Shire of Pingelly); and
  • $91,300 to upgrade Swainstons Road (Shire of Kulin).

The McGowan Government is investing $28.4 million into the WA Safer Roads Program to fund 24 regional road safety initiatives. The program funds initiatives that make the road network safer for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists.

A total of $7.6 million will be invested in the Safer Roads Program in the Wheatbelt, including:

  • $3.5 million for various sections of Great Eastern Highway between Walgoolan and Southern Cross. This will allow for 110 lane kilometres of shoulder reconditioning and sealing in narrow sections to provide a consistent nine-metre-wide seal and installation of audible edge lines.
  • $530,000 to upgrade York-Merredin Road, including widening and sealing shoulders, rehabilitating the carriageway, improving cross sections, and installing line marking and audible edge lines; and
  • $100,000 to construct a northbound passing lane on Albany Highway at Marradong Road.

These improvements are on top of $17.2 million allocated in 2018-19 and 2019-20 through the Road Trauma Trust Account to upgrade Great Eastern Highway from Walgoolan to Southern Cross. The State Budget also included $2.4 million to continue improvements on Toodyay Road, $20 million for upgrades to Indian Ocean Drive and $70 million for improvements to regional roads across the State identified as high-risk for run-off crashes.

This is on top of significant works undertaken in 2017-18 on Great Eastern Highway to address the maintenance backlog, including 4.9km of pavement rehabilitation at Tammin, Hines Hill and Goldfields Road; pavement repairs between Northam and Southern Cross; 20km of reseal between Northam and Cunderdin; asphalt works on Northam Bypass; and 32km of edge break repairs, shoulder grading and minor pavement repairs along Great Eastern Highway.

As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

“My Government is committed to improving road safety across regional WA where too many Western Australians have tragically lost their lives. The State Budget delivered more than $2 billion towards regional roads, and making roads safer is an important priority.

“We have a big agenda to make regional roads safer, and road users in the Wheatbelt will benefit from the upgrades funded through the Black Spot and Safer Roads programs.

“In many cases simple upgrades to problem sections of roads can go a long way, and these upgrades will make a big difference to road safety in the Wheatbelt.”

As stated by Agricultural Region MLC Darren West:

“These sections have been overdue for upgrade for many years and I am delighted that we have been able to make them a priority.

“I’m pleased the McGowan Government has been able to deliver this funding to fix many dangerous roads throughout the Agricultural Region.

“This funding will help many communities across the Wheatbelt improve their road safety and especially those where there has been a proven crash history.”

As stated by Agricultural Region MLC Laurie Graham:

“There are always risks when travelling on regional roads but it’s important that, as a government, we do everything we can to reduce that risk.

“We are committed to ensuring all road users throughout WA can travel safely.”

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