$54m road project to start

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph
On Marble Bar Road north of Marble Bar, East Pilbara.
Camera IconOn Marble Bar Road north of Marble Bar, East Pilbara. Credit: Stephen Scourfield/Picture: Stephen Scourfield, Stephen Scourfield The West Australian

Construction works on the $54.5 million Marble Bar Road project are likely to start this year after years of delays.

The State Government last week announced funding had been secured for the project, which is said to result in improved road safety and efficiency.

Works are set to include realignment and upgrade of the 4km section of Marble Bar Road that passes through Coongan Gorge, construction of culverts and off-road drainage, installation of safety barriers, signs and pavement markings.

Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan said with the procurement process under way, it was anticipated work on the road would start in the latter part of this year.

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“As we speak, it is out for tender and we are hoping construction will start this year,” she said. Shire of East Pilbara president Lynne Craigie said after waiting a long time, the Shire was pleased the project was finally coming to fruition.

“Any road is important and that one is dangerous,” she said.

“The concern that’s been identified is the number of trucks using that road.

“We have grey nomads who head into our part of the world and there’s always the danger of them mixing with big heavy traffic.”

Ms Craigie said there were other roads that had been identified as high risk that required just as much, if not more attention.

“The greater need is in the Newman to Nullagine road ... we’ve had a lot more deaths on that section of road; however, we can apply for more funding and see if we’re lucky enough to get it.”

She said one of the biggest losses for Newman was the decline in Royalties For Regions funding.

“The decline of Royalties For Regions will hurt Newman,” she said. “That’s been a way we’ve been able to get things that have been well overdue.

“We need to try to find other ways to get things funded.”

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