Bussell Highway is the main link between Perth, Bunbury and Busselton-Margaret River area, supporting the tourism, forestry and agricultural industries in the region. It is also an important commuter link for many residents who live in the Busselton / Margaret River area and work in Bunbury or the Perth metropolitan area.
There is a 17 km section of the highway remaining as a single carriageway between Capel and Sabina (north of Busselton), and we are currently finalising plans to duplicate this section.
We are continuing to seek funding for the project form the State and Federal Governments. In the interim, funding is available to continue with planning and design works, approvals and service relocations. If funding for the project is granted then construction could commence as early as 2017/18.
The project is designed to increase road capacity, to provide safer overtaking opportunities and reduce driver frustration.
Completion of the dual carriageway will:
We have been undertaking a range of work to develop the project further, including:
We are also working with the Shire of Capel and the City of Busselton to finalise planning.
Bussell Highway, between Bunbury and Busselton is 46 km long. It is a four lane dual carriageway, aside from a 17 km section between Capel and north of Busselton, which is a two lane single carriageway with passing lanes at approximately 5 km intervals in each direction.
Traffic flowing regularly exceeds the capacity of the single carriageway section resulting in congestion and delays.
The average annual daily traffic on the single carriageway section varies from approximately 14,000 vehicles per day (vpd) at the northern end to approximately 13,000 vpd at the southern end. Traffic volumes fluctuate significantly, with Friday traffic typically around 16,000 vpd or greater. Extreme peaks are experienced on most holiday long weekends when traffic flows can be in the order of 13,000 vpd in one direction alone.
On Friday afternoons, with large traffic volumes attempting to merge it, it is common for a queue of traffic to form on the southbound carriageway where the dual carriageway ends just south of Capel. The queue often extends through intersections that provide access into the Capel townsite, causing inconvenience and safety concerns for traffic accessing the townsite.
Similarly, high traffic volumes heading north towards Perth after a long weekend are experienced. As traffic growth continues, periods of congestion on this major rural highway will become more frequent and longer in duration.
Early environmental approvals have been sought for the section south of Capel to Hutton Road.
The footprint is 13.26 ha and includes 5.53 ha of natives vegetation and planted vegetation.
We have been issued with a clearing permit (CP 7016/1) by WA Department of Environment Regulation to conduct clearing requirements for works.
The project was also referred to Commonwealth Department of the Environment (DotE) as it may result in the loss of known and potential habitat for Black Cockatoos (6.47 ha of foraging habitat and 66 potential breeding habitat trees), and Western Ringtail Possum habitat (6.59 ha).
DotE has determined that the project is a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) and it will be assessed at the level of preliminary documentation. We have provided DotE with additional information (preliminary documentation) to assist with the assessment, and DotE has now requested that this information be made available for community comment. Consequently, we invite public comment on the preliminary documentation.
The Preliminary Document is available for comment from 19 September to 4 October. Any person or organisation is invited to submit comment in writing on the published material with comment to be received by close of business on 5 October. Written submissions can be sent to:
Main Roads Western Australia
Po Box 5010
Bunbury WA 6230
Fax: (08) 9724 5656
Carolyn Walker, Main Roads' Community Relations Representative
Phone: (08) 9450 1445
Phone: 138 138