We are currently investigating options to widen a 93 km section of South Western Highway between the Pemberton turnoff and Walpole.
The two lane road has a 6m seal width, narrow gravel shoulders and steep batters, and covers a variety of terrain and significant rivers. There is a requirement to improve road safety and reduce run-off road crashes on this section of highway.
We completed the 8.5 km section of South Western Highway from Ordnance Road to 1.5 km north of Centre Road in March 2016, despite a wetter than usual summer.
We have had positive feedback from the community regarding this first stage of works. Our Community Reference Group members said they believed the natural appearance of the highway had been maintained, and that most people in the community were very happy with the safer road outcome.
While weather limits the potential construction period for future sections, we expect to start the next section towards the end of 2016, subject to favourable weather and ground conditions, with completion in March 2017. This work will involve approximately 5 km starting 1.5 km north of Centre Road and extending to 2 km north of Mandalay Beach Road through several of the Karri sections.
We are progressing planning in response to concerns raised by the community for the section of the highway south of Pemberton from Vasse Highway to Middleton Road. Land is required from National Parks and possibly from some private property, although this is expected to be minimal. The works are likely to reflect the existing highway alignment with no significant realignment or reconstruction proposed. However, these widening works are at least two years away due to time required to complete the land dealings. The initial focus will be on the section north of Middleton Road to reflect business, tourism, safety impacts and traffic volumes with a preliminary design for the 10 km section north of Middleton Road to be developed.
The April 2015 newsletter explains the project rationale and background. We continue to welcome feedback from the community along the highway, as well as highway users.
To ensure the community has input into the process, we held the first of several workshops with key community representatives in Walpole on Thursday 22 August 2013. The group included representatives of representatives from:
Six further meetings have been held on:
Most have involved site visits along the highway.
While this group is not a decision making body, representatives are involved in discussing possible treatments with us. This includes raising any concerns or issues with their relevant groups/ associates to provide feedback at each workshop.
The purpose of the current community group workshops is to discuss the impacts and agree on the final scope of widening works with the aim of minimising environmental impacts, and meeting the community’s request that the road be improved.
The workshops will allow the local community to identify, discuss and provide advice on issues associated with the project. The group will also provide representative community and stakeholder input into development of solutions. Working with all relevant community representatives and stakeholders will ensure an outcome that is generally acceptable within the community.
We plan to increase the seal width to nine metres, construct new shoulders, and where possible, improve safety of road verges by flattening batter slopes and protecting or removing roadside hazards (predominantly large trees).
There is no set timeframe for widening works at this stage, and this will depend on finalising the scope of works and the allocation of funds in future State budgets.
It is expected that the works would likely be undertaken over a number of years. The current order of delivery is indicated on the delivery strategy map.
The extent of work is not yet determined and will be influenced by workshops with the community representatives. Further meetings are next year. Our aim is to work together to develop a solution that is fundamentally acceptable to all.
We welcome queries from the community about this project.
Carolyn Walker, Main Roads’ Community Relations Representative
Phone: 9450 1445
Tel: 138 138