Exmouth Road from Minilya, is the most direct route into Exmouth from the south. The road has therefore seen a significant increase in use, especially by heavy and 'permitted' vehicles servicing various developments in the Exmouth area.
Major concerns have been identified with the roads narrow seal and limited overtaking opportunities. As it is currently used by higher speed passenger vehicles and heavy, slower road trains and tourist traffic, an increased accident risk has been identified with its current condition.
In order to reduce this risk, the construction of an additional lane has been completed between Learmonth and Exmouth.
Design and Development of further overtaking opportunities between the North West Coastal Highway intersection and the Lyndon River crossing are currently in progress. Designs are also underway to widen this road and seal the shoulders to improve safety, lower maintenance costs and provide environmental benefits by reducing the use of scarce natural gravel.
Consideration is also being given to improve floodway crossings along this link at it is subject to flooding and is subsequently closed. This impacts on existing industry and tourism and has implications for future development.
Construction funding has not yet been identified.
The State Government has approved, in principle, the development of the Onslow Strategic Industry Area (SIA) known as Ashburton North to cater for industrial development expected in the Onslow Area. Ashburton North is situated on a portion of the Urala Pastoral Lease, 11 km south west of Onslow. A number of industry proponents are now developing proposals for the establishment of LNG production facilities including major port facilities.
Onslow Road is the main link to Onslow from the North West Coastal Highway. The road was constructed in the 1980’s to service the Onslow community and the salt operations in the town. The road has a 6.2 m seal with 0.5 m unsealed shoulders.
Considerable work will be required to widen this road to accommodate the expected increase in traffic including a substantial increase in road train movements.
Project development is well underway with ground surveys completed and the design contract currently in progress. Environmental clearances, including Aboriginal heritage clearances, and material investigations are currently underway.
Funding is presently being negotiated between State Government and key stakeholders in the North West Shelf natural gas industry.