Jun 19, 2009

Long awaited upgrade to commence in Port Hedland

Long awaited upgrade to commence in Port Hedland

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

19 June 2009

Following the selection of preferred builders work is expected to start within weeks on the first stage of the upgrade of the Great Northern Highway in the Pilbara.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, and Western Australian Transport Minister, Simon O’Brien, said Stage 1 of the project will straighten and widen the Highway between Pinga Street and the Broome turnoff.

“We are determined to deliver this vital road project as quickly as possible,” said Mr Albanese.

“Importantly, the global recession will not stop us investing in the infrastructure vital to Australia’s long term economic prosperity. In fact by doing so we are supporting jobs at a time when that support is needed most.

“The start of this work also honours a pledge we made prior to the 2007 election.”

Stage 1 – worth $6.7 million – will improve the Pinga Street and Wallwork Road intersections and construct a fourth lane on the Highway from Wallwork Road to the Broome turnoff. It will support up to 70 jobs.

Western Australian Transport Minister, Simon O’Brien said that long-distance travellers, trade and the local community will benefit from the upgrade.

“Over 12,000 vehicles a day use this section of the highway with up to 12 per cent of these being commercial vehicles. The mix of light commuter traffic and heavy road trains on the local road network is a major safety concern within the community of Port Hedland,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The movement of road trains on this link causes significant delays to traffic and is a source of frustration to many drivers.

“Traffic volumes in the Port Hedland have grown rapidly because of the ongoing expansion of the mining sector within the Pilbara Region.

Brierty Ltd – the builders awarded the contract for Stage 1 – have said they will utilise $1.29 million worth of local goods and services.