Geraldton MLA Ian Blayney said the Greenough River bridge replacement and Brand Highway realignment has moved a step closer to completion.
Mr Blayney welcomed news from Main Roads that planning works has been completed.
“Built in 1953, the Greenough River Bridge carries more than 2,800 vehicles per day but no longer meets the needs and expectations of the community or the transport industry,” Mr Blayney said.
“State Government funding of $18million for this project is secure and planning works to replace the bridge and realign the Brand Highway’s southern approach to the bridge has now finished with construction to complete stage one works the next step.”
A construction contract for Stage 1 of the Greenough River Bridge and 1.3km of roadworks is expected to be awarded before the end of the year and completed by mid-2014.
“The safety, efficiency and reliability of the Brand Highway in Western Australia’s Mid-West region will soon be significantly improved by these works,” Mr Blayney said.
“This project will significantly improve safety for road users. Since 2007, there have been more than 20 crashes on this section of Brand Highway, including five fatalities.”
Mr Blayney said the bridge will be replaced with a wider, longer and higher concrete and steel structure which will make it less susceptible to road closure during times of flooding.
It will also be more efficient for many ‘over mass’ vehicles which currently detour to Great Northern Highway, imposing high costs on the transport industry.
The overall project will be delivered in three stages.
- Stage 1 includes the new bridge downstream (west) of the existing structure, plus 1.3km of roadworks to tie into the existing Brand Highway from just north of Showgrounds Road (S-Bends) to 400m north of Hamersley Road.
- Stage 2 will focus on the realignment of Brand Highway through the S-Bend curves to join up with the existing highway south of S-Bend Caravan Park. Funding and construction timing for Stage 2 is yet to be confirmed.
- The final scope of Stage 3, south of the S-Bend Caravan Park to south of Bookara East Road, is being investigated.
During construction the existing bridge will remain open while the new structure is being erected, however speed reductions and traffic management will be in place.
Mr Blayney said Main Roads will ensure every effort is made to minimise disruptions during construction but some delays are likely to be experienced.