Coalfields Highway

 

Current Status

 

We wish to advise Collie and surrounding communities that upgrade works will continue this summer with clearing of the new alignments and construction of the new causeway across the Hamilton River west of Allanson (refer map).

On 9 June 2014, preliminary construction activities began at the Hamilton River site. Works included preparing the access tracks, hardstand areas, stockpiling materials, as well as installing two coffer dams to aid with dewatering the site. Work was advancing well and the construction of the new culvert and embankment causeway had commenced when significant rainfall in the Hamilton River catchment resulted in works being postponed for winter.

A statement was released 19 December announcing works are underway on the $5 million reconstruction and realignment of a further 2.6 kilometres near the Hamilton River, west of Allanson. These works will include the clearing of the new Hamilton River section alignment, following approval by the Department of Environment Regulation, and the land excision from Wellington National Park having cleared the parliamentary process. During the works, vehicular access to the Hamilton Peninsula will be temporarily closed. The closure is needed to ensure the safety of the public. 

These arrangements have been put in place in consultation with the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW). We apologises in advance to peninsula visitors for any inconvenience this may cause. 

The area immediately south of the existing Hamilton River crossing remains a construction site and as such is permanently closed until the new alignment is opened to the public in 2015. Subject to obtaining the appropriate approvals, construction of the new Hamilton River section will be completed this summer following on from the clearing and causeway works.

 

Project Background

The Coalfields Highway Upgrade is a $53 million project that is expected to increase safety, increased overtaking opportunities and ultimately reduce the number and severity of crashes. The 4km extension of the existing climbing lane on Roelands Hill was open to traffic in May 2014. Improvements to the section just west of Allanson to Collie were completed in 2012.

For more detailed information on the works, see the Project Scope section.

For our previous updates, please see theApril 2014 newsletter and the August 2013 newsletter

 

Project Scope

A brief scope of the remaining works to complete this project is detailed below. 

1) Wellington Dam Section

Works include:

  • Reconstruction and realignment of three kilometre's of road near the intersection with Wellington Dam Road.
  • Reinstatement of the existing westbound passing lane to the west of Wellington Dam Road.
  • Extension to the eastbound passing lane in the Gastaldo West section.
  • Upgrading the Wellington Dam Road intersection to provide a separate lane for right turn movements from Coalfields Highway.
  • Reinstatement of Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) infrastructure (parking bay entrance, Munda Biddi Trail crossing).
  • Rationalisation of DPaW management tracks 
2) Gastaldo West and East Sections

Works include:

  • Reconstruction and realignment of approximately five kilometres of road just east of Wellington Dam Road to the water pipeline crossing.
  • Reinstatement of the existing eastbound passing lane which will now be extended to start from the end of the Wellington Dam section.
  • Reinstatement of the existing westbound passing lane that starts in the Hamilton River section.
  • Upgrade the Gastaldo Road intersection to include a right turn acceleration lane for vehicles turning right onto the Coalfields Highway.
3) Hamilton River Section

Works include:

  • Reconstruction and realignment of 2.5 kilometres of road from the water pipeline to the previously completed Shine’s section realignment.
  • Reinstatement of the existing eastbound passing lane (east of the Hamilton River crossing).
  • Construction of an extension to the existing westbound passing lane that extends into the Gastaldo East section.
  • Construction of an improved access from the highway for the DPaW campsite just east of the Hamilton River crossing.
  • Rationalisation of DPaW management tracks.
 

Project Need

The upgrade of the Coalfields Highway has been ongoing over the last 30 years. Further improvements are required for several reasons:

  • There are sections of narrow sealed width, unsealed shoulders and poor geometry (winding, tight curves and crests).
  • To provide safer opportunities for road users to easily overtake slow vehicles.
  • Increasing volumes of traffic are using the route, including more heavy vehicles and oversized loads servicing the mining, industrial and agricultural sectors.
  • There is adjacent vegetation close to the edge of the road, including large trees that pose a traffic hazard to the road user.

The project will:

  • Increase road user safety and reduce the number and severity of crashes.
  • Cater for increasing traffic volumes.
  • Meet changing transport needs, including reducing freight costs.

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Timing and Community Benefits

Further to the $25 million allocation initially announced, the 2013/14 State Budget confirmed that an additional $28 million would be provided to continue upgrading works on the Highway with the following delivery timeframe:

  • 2013/14 – Roelands Hill (complete)
  • 2014/15 – Wellington and Hamilton Sections
  • 2015/16 – Gastaldo Sections

Now that the excision of land from the National Park is in its final stages, we can prepare contracts to deliver the remaining works, with construction expected to start in 2015. The project is likely to be completed by late 2016.

 

Managing Impacts

 We will be managing all social, environmental and economic impacts, including:

  • Minimising potential impact on the Wellington National Park and potential habitats for black cockatoos.
  • Minimising impacts and continuing consultation with affected landowners (regarding property access and land acquisition) and Aboriginal representatives.
  • Providing updated information to the community about roadworks and impacts to road user journeys.
  • Park management (fire access, Munda Biddi Trail) in close consultation with the local DPaW representatives.

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Environmental Consultation and Documentation

Working with the local offices of the Department of Parks and Wildlife, we have undertaken a number of environmental surveys and heritage consultations to determine impacts and how they can be managed throughout the project.  This information has been used to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment and subsequently, the project was referred to both the Environmental Protection Authority (State Government) and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment (formally Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities) 

 

Community Information

Roadworks information will be provided to the community on a regular basis via Variable Message Signs on site, advertising in the local media and on the South West Roadworks and Road Conditions page.

We welcome queries or feedback from the community.  Please contact Carolyn Walker on:

Phone: (08) 9450 1445 (8am-6pm)
Fax: (08) 9450 1261
Email: icwalker@vianet.net.au

 

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Modified: 23 Dec 2014