Bridge adds safety to Great Northern Highway

Glenn CordingleyThe West Australian
The trains on this line run between the largest iron ore mine in the nation to the Port of Port Hedland. Thirteen can run in one day.
Camera IconThe trains on this line run between the largest iron ore mine in the nation to the Port of Port Hedland. Thirteen can run in one day. Credit: North West Telegraph/Daneka Hill

A new multimillion-dollar bridge funded by mining giant Roy Hill that removes the need for motorists to negotiate an ore train rail crossing has opened in the Pilbara.

The Roy Hill bridge carries Great Northern Highway traffic over the rail line, near Port Hedland. It was designed to enable the free flow of traffic and freight and improve safety.

Part of the project also involved realigning a section of the Great Northern Highway to incorporate an acceleration lane to help improve traffic flow in the area.

Meanwhile, the risk of road closures caused by seasonal flooding would also be reduced with the construction of a 95m concrete box culvert to improve drainage.

The $18.66 million contract was funded by Roy Hill and undertaken by Georgiou under the management of Main Roads Western Australia. More than 11 per cent of the project workforce were local Aboriginal people.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said a critical piece of infrastructure with immediate benefits to road users had been delivered through the State Government partnership with Roy Hill.

“By upskilling Aboriginal people on Main Roads’ managed projects, the State Government is ensuring they now have the experience to secure jobs on other projects within the region,” she said.

Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Stephen Dawson said the much-awaited upgrade would improve a major transport route and improve road safety by removing the risk of road-to-rail conflicts.

“It’s a fantastic outcome to see this project has achieved high levels of Aboriginal employment throughout construction,” he said.

Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said he was happy the project focused on local jobs for local workers, and was looking forward to future Pilbara projects with an emphasis on local engagement.

“This new bridge, along with the subsequent removal of the at-grade rail crossing will also improve traffic and freight efficiency,” he said.

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