Flood damaged section of Great Northern Highway reopens today

Published: 09 February 2023, Updated: 09 February 2023

The first vehicles were escorted in convoy through the rebuilt Willare section of Great Northern Highway (GNH) in the Kimberley this morning.

Vehicles moved along a temporary single-lane gravel track, which has been built over the damaged section of  GNH through Willare.

A 10-kilometre section of the highway sustained significant damage from the recent Kimberley floods with around 3 kilometres of road pavement completely washed away.

The newly built temporary track will restore access in the short-term between Broome, Derby and Fitzroy Crossing which has been cut off since the start of 2023.

The reopening will be under restricted conditions with all vehicles escorted in alternating east and west convoys under speed restrictions in the following stages:

  • Stage 1 - access to all vehicles from Thursday 9 February through to Sunday 12 February between the hours of 8am and 4pm only

  • Stage 2 - escorted access to all vehicles from Monday 13 February one-way, twice daily:
    • Derby side (east) convoys leaving at 7.30am and 4.30pm
    • Broome side (west) convoys leaving at 8am and 5pm

It is anticipated the second stage of the reopening will be in place for up to two weeks to allow road crews to add a second lane to the temporary gravel track.

Main Roads is urging road users to be patient and plan ahead if intending to travel to Broome, Derby or Fitzroy Crossing over the coming weeks.

Travel times across the 10-kilometre section are expected to average between 15 – 20 minutes per convoy. Wait times at the controlled access points either side of the temporary track at the Willare Roadhouse and the Cockatoo Creek Bridge are expected to average 30 minutes.

The temporary track has a loose gravel surface and drivers are reminded to take care and drive to the conditions.

All vehicles including double and triple road trains will be able to be escorted through the section with exception to Over Size Over Mass (OSOM) vehicles. These will not be permitted to use the temporary track.


Back to News and media

Acknowledgement of country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.

Tell us what you think

Help us improve our website by sharing your thoughts and suggestions.

Provide feedback