Bunbury Outer Ring Road

 

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Construction of Stage Two of the Bunbury Port Access Project, which includes the Central Stage of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, was completed and opened to traffic on 31 May 2013. The completion of the project has improved access to the Port and Picton industrial area from South Western Highway and has already significantly reduced the number  of larger vehicles on Robertson and the Eelup Roundabout.
 
A preliminary design has been prepared for the Southern Stage of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road to determine land requirements and environmental impacts. This stage of the project has been referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment (DotE) (formerly Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities). The EPA has determined not to formerly assess the southern stage although vegetation clearing will need to be approved by the Department of Environment Regulation (DER) prior to construction and environmental offsets provided to address the clearing impact. DoTE has determined that the project is a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Consrcat5ion Act (1999) and will be assessed at the level of Preliminary Documentation, Main Roads has provided DoTE with additional information to assist the assessment, and DoTE has now requested that this information be made available for community comment as detailed in the Southern Section Environmental and Approvals section below.

A review of the planning for the Northern Stage of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road is currently underway, due to changes proposed recently to land use planning and transport planning.  The Greater Bunbury Strategy released in 2011 by the Department of Planning is proposing urban development to the east of the Perth Bunbury Highway and establishment of a new town east of Eaton.  Provision will also be made for a Fast Train between Bunbury and Perth in the median of the Perth Bunbury Highway and a transit station near Eaton. 

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Background

The Bunbury Outer Ring Road (BORR) is a planned Controlled Access Highway linking the four major highways radiating from Bunbury on the outer edge of the City (namely the Perth Bunbury Highway, South Western Highway, Boyanup Picton Road and Bussell Highway) to the planned Bunbury Port Access Road (PAR)

The BORR will be a four lane dual carriageway with the capacity to be upgraded to freeway status in the long term. The Bunbury Port Access Road is a planned Controlled Access Main Road linking the Bunbury Port to the planned Preston Industrial Area and the Bunbury Outer Ring Road. Once completed, the BORR will also provide an effective bypass of Bunbury for inter-regional traffic.

The BORR forms a major component of the planned regional road network for the Greater Bunbury Area.  The concept for the road was originally developed by Main Roads Western Australia in the early 1970s, in consultation with other State Government departments and Local Authorities and in conjunction with the preparation of the Bunbury Region Plan (SPC, 1987). The concept alignment for the road linked the Perth Bunbury Highway north of Bunbury to the Bussell Highway south of Bunbury over a distance of about 19 km. 

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Project Need

Currently, through traffic and heavy vehicle traffic into the Port utilises the portion of Perth-Bunbury Highway within the City of Bunbury. This section of Perth-Bunbury Highway also carries a significant volume of local traffic and is the main link between Australind and the City centre. 

The mix of through traffic, heavy vehicles and heavy volumes of local traffic is causing congestion and creating an increased traffic hazard, resulting in associated transport inefficiencies and costs. Traffic forecasts show that traffic volumes around Bunbury will increase significantly over the next 10 years, and together with anticipated growth in rail traffic into the port, will reduce the efficiency of the existing road network, and in particular, the existing  Inner Ring Road (Robertson Drive) .

Without the Bunbury Port Access Road and the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, improvements to the existing road network will be required to cater for the increased traffic volumes. While the capacity of the existing roads can be improved, road safety, transport efficiency and the amenity of the areas along the existing routes will continue to deteriorate.

The proposed expansion of the Bunbury Inner Harbour in the future will necessitate the closure of Estuary Drive, diverting traffic currently using Estuary Drive onto the Perth Bunbury Highway. The BORR will provide an alternative route for traffic around Bunbury, as the capacity of the affected section of Perth Bunbury Highway is likely to be exceeded with the additional traffic diverting from Estuary Drive.

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Project Details

The Bunbury Outer Ring Road will be constructed initially as a four lane dual carriageway with a combination of grade separated interchanges and at-grade intersections. The road is planned to be upgraded to freeway status in the future, at which time all at-grade intersections will be upgraded to interchanges Provision is also being made for a transit corridor in the median.

The Bunbury Outer Ring Road is likely to be constructed in three stages.

The Central Stage between the Boyanup Picton Road and the South Western Highway in Davenport, will be constructed first as part of the Bunbury Port Access Project, which also involves the construction of the Bunbury Port Access Road (Willinge Drive). This stage involves:

  • Construction of a 4 km section of the BORR (including 3 km of four lane dual carriageway) from the Boyanup Picton Road to South Western Highway in Davenport;
  • Two dual lane bridges over the Preston River; and
  • New intersections at the junctions with South Western Highway, Boyanup Picton Road, Moore Road and Port Access Road.

An Overview Plan/Map showing Stage 1 (central stage) of the BORR is provided for your information.

The Southern Stage involves construction of 9.6 km of four lane dual carriageway from South Western Highway to Bussell Highway in Gelorup, and will include:

  • Intersections and Lillydale Road, Hastie Road and Ducane Road;
  • A major roundabout at the intersection with Bussell Highway;
  • An overpass at Yalinda Drive in Gelorup; and
  • A proposed service road between Ducane Road and Jilley Road to provide access to adjacent properties.

An Overview Plan/Map showing the planned southern works of the BORR is provided for your information.

The Northern Stage involves construction of 7 km of road from Perth-Bunbury Highway to Stage One near Picton Boyanup Road, and includes:

  • Grade separated interchanges at the intersections with Perth Bunbury Highway and South Western Highway;
  • A bridge over the Boyanup Picton Road, Manjimup Railway line and Ferguson River; and
  • At-grade intersection with Harris Road.

Some sections of Martin Pelusey Road will closed and other sections will be realigned to maintain property access, and the northern connection of Hynes Road to the Perth Bunbury Highway will be closed.

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Project Benefits

Construction of the BORR will:

  • Facilitate the development of the Bunbury Port and South West industry;
  • Reduce congestion on the existing network;
  • Improve travel times and freight efficiency;
  • Reduced air and noise pollution in the developed urban areas along the existing route;
  • Improve road safety; and
  • Improve access to the existing and developing industrial areas south east of Bunbury from the four major inter-regional routes.

Additionally, traffic travelling from Perth to the South West can choose to bypass Bunbury, particularly during the peak holiday periods when the existing road network becomes congested with holiday makers travelling to towns south of Bunbury, benefiting both local traffic and inter-regional traffic.

When the road is completed, around 10,000 to 15,000 vehicles per day on average are expected to be using various sections of the new road by 2021, which would otherwise use the already congested existing road network.

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Funding and Timing

The Commonwealth and State Governments provided $170m for the Bunbury Port Access Project (including BORR Stage One).

The remaining stages of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road between the Perth Bunbury Highway and Boyanup Picton Road, and between South Western Highway and Bussell Highway, are currently unfunded and there is no set timeframe for construction.

 

Community and stakeholder liaison

We have been working with all key stakeholders in recent times to discuss project issues and mitigate potential impacts, including environmental, heritage (Indigenous and European), social and economic impacts.

Meetings have been held with:

  • Local Government Officers
  • Department of Planning
  • Department of Environment and Conservation; and 
  • Department of Water

Briefings have also been provided to:

  • Bunbury City Council
  • Dardanup Shire Council
  • Capel Shire Council
  • South West Environment Centre
  • Freight industry representatives and community members.

Any community groups who are interested in the project are welcome to contact Main Roads for a briefing.

If you have any queries, please contact our Customer Information Centre on 138 138.

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Southern Section Environmental Assessment and Approvals

The BORR Southern section (South Western Highway to Bussell Highway) has been referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment (DotE) for a decision on the need for formal environmental assessment.

The EPA has determined not to formerly assess the southern section. Vegetation clearing and environmental offsets to address the impacts of vegetation clearing will need to be approved by DER prior to construction commencing. Main Roads expects to submit an application for a Clearing Permit to DER in late 2015.

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. Main Roads has provided DotE with additional information to assist the assessment, and DotE has now requested that this information be made available for community comment. Consequently Main Roads invites public comment on the documents listed below.

  1. BORR Southern Section EPBC Referral Letter
  2. BORR Southern Section EPBC Act Referral Form
  3. BORR Southern Section EPBC Environmental Impact Assessment
    Appendix A - Figures
    Appendix B - Flora and Vegetation Assessment
    Appendix C - Dieback Assessment Report
    Appendix D - Fauna Assessment Report
    Appendix E - Vegetation Clearing Assessment
    Appendix F - Aboriginal Heritage Survey Report
    Appendix G - Noise Management Plan
  4. BORR Project Locality Plan
  5. BORR Southern Section Additional Information Covering Letter
  6. BORR Southern Section Proposed Fauna Management Measures
  7. BORR Southern Section Concept Design Drawings
  8. Fauna Research Papers
  9. BORR Southern Section Draft Construction Environmental Management Plan
  10. BORR Southern Section Preliminary Environmental Offset Information
    Offset Appendix A
    Offset Appendix B
    Offset Appendix C
    Offset Appendix D
    Offset Appendix E
    Offset Appendix F part 1
    Offset Appendix F part 2
    Offset Appendix F part 3
    Offset Appendix F part 4
    Offset Appendix G


These documents are available for comment between November 16 and December 1, 2015. 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 December 14, 2015. Written submissions can be sent to:

Gerry Zoetelief
Project Development Manager
Main Roads Western Australia
PO Box 5010, Sunbury WA 6230
Fax: (08) 9724 5656
Email: gerry.zoetelief@ mainroads.wa.gov.au

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Modified: 24 Nov 2015