In response to community concerns about safety on South Coast Highway through Ravensthorpe, Main Roads WA undertook a planning study to consider alignment options for a heavy vehicle route around the town site.
As an outcome of this study and community consultation, a preferred alignment has been selected and funding allocated to construct the project.
South Coast Highway, which has operated as a significant freight route for many years, climbs steeply through Ravensthorpe.
Most heavy vehicles climb the Ravensthorpe Hill without incident. However, a small minority fail to negotiate the steep grade and stall on the hill. The local community and stakeholders have become increasingly concerned with the regularity of these incidents and the risks associated with the recovery of these vehicles.
Livestock vehicles also spill effluent on the road as they climb the hill, making the road slippery and reducing town site amenity.
Traffic on the road network in the Ravensthorpe area is increasing due to growth in the local mining and agriculture sectors. A significant number of these vehicles are double road trains, carting grain and other agricultural products such as fertiliser and livestock to and from the Esperance port.
The project also includes the realignment of the intersection of the Hopetoun Road with South Coast Highway as well as undertaking improvements to the main street of Ravensthorpe and associated town entry statements.
Detailed below are the scheduled timelines for the project from the alignment definition process through to delivery and project closeout.
Construction of the project was delivered in two stages. Stage 1 was the accommodation and pre-construction works. Stage 2 was a Category 2 contract.
The works were delivered using the Category 2 AS 2124 contract methodology. This contracting approach consists of inviting public tenders from pre-qualified contractors who have a demonstrated capability and ability to deliver projects of this scale.
There were opportunities for local suppliers to provide goods and services to the Category 2 contractor required to complete this project.
Funding for the Ravensthorpe Heavy Haulage Route of $20 million was provided to Main Roads over the 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15 financial years. Preconstruction works and sidetrack construction has been completed with an AS2124 contract awarded to NRW Holdings. Construction activities were suspended in July 2015 for the winter months and were resumed end September 2015.
A Project Reference Group was established consisting of a Shire of Ravensthorpe representative, Ravensthorpe Shire Council representative, Ravensthorpe Progress Association representative, a community representative and a Main Roads representative. The Reference Group provided the Project Team with information and a link to the local community.
NRW Holdings commenced construction works in January 2015 utilising local Earthworks contractors from Ravensthorpe and surrounding towns. Good progress was made with embankment construction activities. Pavement stabilisation began 2 November and finished by 20 November with the sealing finalised the following day, 21 November. The asphalt began during the first week of December, and signs &guideposts were installed during December. The heavy haulage route was officially opened by the Minister for Transport on Monday 21 December 2015 with only very minor works to be finalised beyond Christmas. The improvements to the main street through Ravensthorpe will be undertaken by the local shire and are yet to be finalised.
Please contact Susie Chapman, Community Engagement Manager on 9892 0555.