News, Road upgrades, Western Australia

$50 million in upgrades for key WA freight route

A key WA freight route is set to undergo major upgrades as part of a $50 million package of works.

The Great Northern Highway, between Newman and Port Hedland, will get 11 new overtaking lanes.

The WA government says the new lanes are expected to enhance the existing freight network, increasing transport efficiency and improving road safety.

Currently, 60 per cent of traffic between Newman and Port Hedland is made up of heavy vehicles.

“Our government is focussed on ensuring the movement of freight across our state, particularly in the north west, is as safe and efficient as possible,” said WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

“We have a significant number of heavy vehicles moving on the Great Northern Highway and the installation of overtaking lanes in strategic locations will reduce travel times, improve efficiency, and enhance safety by ensuring drivers don’t take unnecessary risks.

The new overtaking lanes were included under the Australian Government’s newly announced Great Northern Highway corridor.

They’re being jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian governments, with the Australian Government providing $40 million and the Western Australian Government chipping in $10 million.

The overtaking lanes will be delivered in two stages with the first stage to see five new overtaking lanes built between Newman and Auski. These will include three southbound overtaking lanes and two northbound overtaking lanes.

A second contract to deliver six overtaking lanes on the Great Northern Highway between Auski and Port Hedland is expected to be awarded before the middle of the year.

“These overtaking lanes will improve road safety by providing and encouraging safe overtaking opportunities, reducing driver frustration from drivers not being able to overtake slower-moving vehicles,” added Senator for Western Australia Glenn Sterle.

“Residents, drivers and importantly our hard-working truckies in Western Australia’s north will greatly benefit for years to come from this work.

“As someone who still drives trucks along this route, I know this work is going to make a great difference for our truckies.”

All 11 overtaking lanes are scheduled to be complete by mid-2025.

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