Goldfields Highway is a state highway that extends almost 800km from south of Kambalda in the Goldfields, to Meekatharra in the State's Mid West. The section between Wiluna and Meekatharra is approximately 180km in length, with the majority of this unsealed. This section provides an important east-west transport link between the Northern Goldfields and the Mid West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions.
It also forms part of the preferred route to link these regions together as part of the State Government's Portlink project. The highway is also an important piece of infrastructure in facilitating the development of mines in the Wiluna area.
In its current form, the section of Goldfields Highway between Wiluna and Meekatharra is subject to regular closures due to rainfall. The gravel surface suffers rapid deterioration during wet weather and results in an unreliable link, which in turn is facing increasing demand. Combined with this, the road is required to have regular maintenance grading and resheeting.
The dust generated by traffic also poses a safety concern, due to the reduced visibility. Due to the large sections of road without seal, the overtaking of slow moving heavy vehicles, including road trains, can be extremely hazardous and minor rainfall events close the road.
The State Government has committed $10.0 million of Royalties for Regions funding, to be matched by Main Roads to commence immediate upgrades to the link. As such, a total of $20.0 million was be spent upgrading the road over a three year period between 2012/13 and 2014/15.
Approximately 25km of road was fully reconstructed and sealed between Wiluna and Meekatharra. A number of new floodways were included in these works that will reduce the time the road is closed by minor rainfall events.
The road was sealed to a width of 9m, increasing to 10m on floodways. Four separate segments were sealed on the link to provide opportunities for vehicles to safety overtake slow moving traffic at regular intervals along the route.
The works also resulted in substantial improvements to drainage in order to minimise the effects of flood events.
In April 2013, Minister for Transport, Troy Buswell, and Minister for Regional Development, Brendan Grylls, jointly announced that Safelinks Program Alliance (Maca Civil / AECOM) had been nominated as the preferred proponent to form an alliance with Main Roads to deliver the upgrade works on Goldfields Highway, as well as further works on Wubin-Mullewa Road.
The construction works commenced in late 2013 and were finalised in mid-2014.
The road forms part of the proposed PortLink route and as funding becomes available, it is planned to upgrade and seal the full length of road between Wiluna and Meekatharra. Currently, no funding is available for the construction of any future works.
We welcome any queries from the community. If you would like further information, please contact:Maria TretheweyGoldfields-Esperance RegionPhone: (08) 9080 1400