Vasse Bypass

 

Transport Minister Dean Nalder opened the Bussell Highway Vasse Bypass, 10 kilometres west of Busselton on 29 January 2016, saying the project would improve road user safety and add impetus to the Newtown development project.

The $12.8 million project involved realigning 4.2 kilometres of the Bussell Highway, and was undertaken as a joint venture between BMD Constructions Pty Ltd and MACA Civil Pty Ltd. 

The contract for the project was announced in February 2015.

The project has provided opportunities for local subcontractors and suppliers to be involved, including:

  • BCE Surveying,
  • Leeuwin Civil,
  • JRM Resources,
  • Busselton Cement Products,
  • Busselton Civil and Plant,
  • MGM Bulk; and
  • Credaro Estate.

 

Background

Our South West region entered into an agreement with the Developers of Vasse Newtown to construct the Vasse Bypass.

The Vasse Newtown Development provides for further urban development west of the existing Vasse town site, and was approved by the City of Busselton and the Department of Planning.  The Vasse Bypass forms an integral part of Vasse Newtown, diverting regional traffic around the Development.

The project will allow the existing highway to be downgraded to further the development of the Vasse town site and the surrounding community. Currently, large volumes of regional traffic, including significant numbers of large freight vehicles, travel through Vasse, detracting from the amenity of the area. The current traffic growth is predicted to continue, which will adversely impacting road safety as the capacity of the existing road is gradually exceeded.

The Bypass will provide an improved route for those vehicles not needing to access Vasse, and in future years, can be further upgraded to a dual carriageway to cater for the predicted traffic growth into the Capes Region. It will improve road safety and amenity within the Vasse town site by removing large volumes of traffic and providing a safer route for motorists around the town site.

 

Location and Design

The Project Overview Plan of the proposed Vasse Bypass shows that the new road starts at the existing roundabout at the intersection of the Busselton Bypass and Bussell Highway, near the Vasse town site, then proceeds west  around the urban development before reconnecting to the existing Bussell Highway south west of the development.  

Several intersections were constructed along the route to provide access to the Vasse Newtown Development. The Vasse Yallingup Road, which was severed by the Bypass, is connected to the Bypass from the west only. Traffic on the Vasse Yallingup Road, which currently travels past the Cape Naturaliste College, now diverts to the new Bypass. Traffic on the Vasse Yallingup Road within the Development and in the vicinity of the College is restricted to local traffic only.

The Vasse Bypass will initially be constructed as a two lane road, with the potential to be upgraded to a four lane divided road in the future. A connection is also planned for the proposed future link to Dunsborough .

 

Environment and Heritage

We completed extensive environmental investigations and consultation with local environmental groups, government agencies and Traditional Owners in the development of the Project.

While the new road is located generally within cleared farmland, clearing of a number of various types of trees was required, and some form habitat for the protected Western Ringtail Possum and Black Cockatoos.

The road has been realigned and designed to minimise impacts on these trees following consultation with the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment.

We will revegetate areas of the road verge, which will assist in replacing local vegetation and provide some habitat linkages alongside the new road.

The Bypass is located near the southern boundary of the Locke Nature Reserve, which includes the Vasse-Wonnerup Wetland System. This system provides habitat for a large number of native animals including kangaroos. Fauna fencing has been erected along the northern boundary to deter fauna from crossing the Bypass.

We also consulted with members of the South West Boojarah and Harris Family Native Title Groups, and no sites of significance were identified along the road alignment.

 

Land Use

The new road will be located on land that is currently being used for agricultural purposes; however, the area is gradually being developed for urban purposes. While the land for the new road reservation owned by the Developer is being ceded to the State as part of the Agreement, we acknowledge the support and cooperation of other landowners whose land is being acquired for the new road reservation.

The proposed 'Rails for Trails' crosses the Bypass just north of the Vasse Yallingup Road. Signage will be erected on the Bypass to improve safety for trail users when crossing the Bypass.

 

Benefits

The project will offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Provide the catalyst for further development of the Vasse town site and surrounding community;
  • Reduced vehicle numbers through the town site (including two schools, that will improve safety for local all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians;
  • A dedicated bypass route (with capacity for future capacity upgrades) for regional through traffic that would previously have had to travel through the town site;
  • A revegetation program that will provide greater and longer term environmental benefits to address any short term environmental impacts caused by vegetation clearing; and
  • Provision of a new pedestrian underpass to improve pedestrian safety when crossing the highway.

 

Construction

 The project involved:

  • Construction of 4 km of new road, including 400 m of dual carriageway;
  • Reconstruction of the sections of the old highway and Vasse Yallingup Road that tie into the new road;
  • Construction of five new intersections with street lighting;
  • Construction of a new 25 m long concrete bridge over the Buayanyup Drain;
  • Construction of a concrete underpass just east of the drain to facilitate safe movements under the highway for pedestrians and cyclists.

 

Road Names and Status

The Vasse Bypass forms part of the highway between Busselton and Margaret River under our management. It is proposed that the existing highway through the Vasse town site will be de-proclaimed as a highway and become a local road under the management of the City of Busselton.

It is envisaged that in the short term, the Vasse Bypass will be named the Busselton Bypass, until a new name is selected for the existing Bussell Highway through Vasse by the City of Busselton, at which time it will named Bussell Highway.

 

Community Involvement

We welcomes queries about the project from the community.

Please send your feedback or enquiries to our Customer Services Manager at their South West Regional Office in Bunbury on 97245600 or by emailing alan.roberts@mainroads.wa.gov.au

 

Modified: 19 Sep 2016