Works are starting this week on further upgrades to Great Eastern Highway between Walgoolan and Southern Cross in the eastern Wheatbelt.
The $7.8 million project will focus on improving an ageing 11 kilometre section with a new passing lane, shoulder widening and safety improvements.
Funding for the project has been provided through the State’s Road Trauma Trust Account, which uses revenue from red light and speed camera operations in Western Australia.
This Great Eastern Highway project follows other recent upgrade works in the area, including 55 kilometres of shoulder reconditioning, sealing narrow sections and audible edge line installation between Walgoolan and Southern Cross.
Another recent project realigned 3.2 kilometres of Great Eastern Highway through Carrabin at a cost of $3.7 million.
Main Roads Western Australia has identified about $200 million in critical improvement works to enhance safety and freight efficiency on Great Eastern Highway – a program that would generate about 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The McGowan Government is negotiating with the Federal Government for additional funding to carry out further upgrades.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Having travelled this road and met with the local shires recently, I know these further highway upgrades will make a difference to road safety for industry and commuters going through the area.
“Great Eastern Highway is an important transport link to the Eastern States, and this works package will improve road safety and freight efficiency as well as reduce road maintenance costs.
“Between 1,200 and 1,800 vehicles use this road per day, of which 40 per cent are heavy vehicles.”
As stated by Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts:
“This is an excellent project that will save lives.
“Too many deaths are as a result of simple driving error, whether it’s a momentary lapse in concentration or complacency.
“This project is designed to make the road itself safer, so that drivers have a greater margin for error.
“It is part of the McGowan Government’s commitment to regional road safety.”