York Merredin Road Improvements

 

Overview

We are progressing a project to widen 64 kilometres of the York Merredin Road between York and Quairading.

Safety is the key focus as the crash rate per kilometre along this section is three-to-five times greater than the state average (data from 2010-2014).

From 1989 to 2015, 183 crashes were recorded. Seven people were killed in six separate crashes where vehicles hit trees. A further 38 serious crashes occurred with 16 vehicles hitting trees (45 per cent).

The Safe Systems Approach (which is used by Australian road agencies) acknowledges that people make mistakes and crashes will occur, but death or serious injury should not be the penalty. To improve safety and extend the road life, we began safety improvement works in 2012/13 . These works are being undertaken in stages and will improve driving conditions for all road users, including cyclists, pedestrians and vulnerable road users by:

  • widening shoulders and installing audible edge lines
  • investigating roadside areas to determine whether protection or removal of roadside hazards is required; and
  • trialing audible centre lines west of Quairading. We welcome your feedback on this trial, please contact our call centre on 138 138.

Read our October Project Update for more information.  

 

The Environment

The project has been modified to minimise clearing and Main Roads has made considerable effort to protect environmental features during project development, including:

  • Avoiding mature trees where it would not have an impact on the proposed safety improvement. 
  • Where practical, widen one side only to minimise the environmental impact 
  • Optimise the road footprint by steepening batters and introducing new sections of safety barriers where feasible
  • The locations of potential breeding trees for Black Cockatoos were identified in an environmental survey and were used to amend the design to minimise the number of trees to be removed.
  • Native species common to the area will be used to rehabilitate road batters, surplus land (including the existing road), various tracks, and materials pits 
  • In 2015 (calendar year) we revegetated 176ha, of which 76 ha was an offset.

 

Timelines

To prepare for 2017/18 works, we are reviewing the current design, with the aim of identifying more areas where high value trees and vegetation can be retained without compromising safety. We place great value on the environment, historic and Aboriginal heritage values and aim to balance this with the need to ensure the safety of all road users.

This work follows on from the 2016-17 widening works between Leeming Road and (1 km short of) Mackie Road, and clearing of vegetation between Lightly Place and Mackie Road intersections. We discussed these works with local community members, stakeholders, local governments and the Wildflower Society. Working together, we identified where guardrail safety barriers could be installed. The barrier installations allowed us to save over 60 older trees in the 2016/17 works package that we statutory approval to clear, although there was an additional cost to the project (and the State).

Works are due to recommence in mid-2017 with completion expected by 2021. Depending on final approved government funding, the program includes:

  • widening between Lightly Place and Leeming Road;
  • 1 km section including the bridge up to Mackie Road; and 
  • 7 km section east of Harrison Road to tie in with the previous works at Quairading.

 

Construction Reference Group

The Construction Reference Group (CRG) for the York Merredin Road improvements (between York and Quairading) had its second meeting on Wednesday 20 September 2017 to view proposed vegetation clearing between Jacobs Well Road and Toapin Road. The general feedback received from the group was that our project team has found a good balance between improving the road to make it safe and retaining the vegetation.

 

Further information

Project update - October 2017

For more information, please submit an online form or call our Customer Information Centre on 138 138.

 

Modified: 12 Oct 2017