News, Road upgrades, Western Australia

Major upgrades on Indian Ocean Drive to cause delays

Major upgrades on a 33-kilometre section of Indian Ocean Drive, between Leeman and Brand Highway in WA, are about to begin.  

The upgrades will widen the entire section, realign eight kilometres between Eneabba-Coolimba Road and Freshwater Bay, and construct two new overtaking lanes. 

A $41.7 million contract for the works was awarded to Central Earthmoving in December last year. 

To enable the works to be undertaken safely, a 48-kilometre section of Indian Ocean Drive, between Eneabba-Coolimba Road and Brand Highway, will be temporarily closed for through traffic from April 2024. 

While there will still be access for local businesses, residents and emergency services, all other motorists will detour via Eneabba-Coolimba Road and Brand Highway for about seven months. 

The detour is expected to add 20 minutes to the average journey, but will enable the upgrades to be completed in nine months instead of 12. 

The latest upgrades follow the recent widening of 25-kilometres of Indian Ocean Drive between Jurien Bay and Greenhead last year and the installation of more than 200 kilometres of audible edge and centre lines. 

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government minister Catherine King said that the Australian Government is pleased to be partnering with the Western Australian Government on the project.  

“Improving this top stretch of Indian Ocean Drive will deliver long-term benefits to residents and coastal communities between Perth and Dongara,” she said. 

It comes as severe flooding across parts of WA has prompted calls for plans to seal the Outback Way to be accelerated.  

Running from Laverton in WA to Winton in Queensland, via the Northern Territory’s Red Centre, more than half of the 2,700-kilometre drive remains unpaved. 

Last year the current government pledged $678m to seal the road completely by June 2031. 

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