Great Northern Highway
Great Northern Highway forms part of the National Highway Network. It provides a strategic freight link between Perth and the state’s north as well as Darwin and the Northern Territory.
Stage One - Complete
Between 2000 and 2009, Stage One of the Great Northern Highway Muchea to Wubin Upgrade project was completed. We upgraded 76 km of the highway.
In 2014, we completed a comprehensive planning review of the full Muchea to Wubin link along the highway.
Following this review, we decided to prioritise the following upgrades:
- Town bypasses
- Wider roads
- More passing lanes
- Flattening crests and easing curves
- Safer roadsides
- More rest stops
- Additional facilities for heavy vehicles.
Walebing and Wubin Upgrades
Current status: work began in November 2019 and is due to finish in early 2021
Works in Walebing have recommenced after being suspended over the winter months due to the unfavourable road construction conditions. Speed restrictions and traffic management will be in place and road users are urged to take extra care when travelling through the project site.
Works in Wubin are complete and the new alignment is open to traffic.
- Construction of 4 km of new highway through Walebing (the existing highway will be repurposed as local access roads)
- Upgrade of intersections with Midlands Road and Old Geraldton Road
- Upgrade to the Great Northern Highway intersection in Wubin to allow future southern access for 53.5 m road trains, access to local facilities and the Road Train Assembly Area
The new highway through Walebing will have an improved alignment replacing the existing tight low-speed curve and making that section safer and easier. In Wubin, widening works at the intersection with Mullewa-Wubin Road and upgrades around the Road Train Assembly area will improve access for heavy vehicles.
Current status: planning
We are planning for the 66 km bypass of Bindoon up to New Norcia. We have submitted environmental approvals for construction, and we expect to hear back by late 2020.
Land requirements have been finalised for the highway upgrade. The land acquisition processes have been started across the entire length of the project. We expect this process to take between 9 and 18 months. We are working with all affected landowners to understand the impacts to individual properties and available options to mitigate the impacts.
Once complete, the bypass will allow road trains to travel south to Muchea. Several heavy vehicle rest areas are planned along the bypass.
- A western bypass of Bindoon, providing a link between Chittering Roadhouse and New Norcia Bypass
- Connection to the new North Link WA Northern Section which intersects with Brand Highway
- Connection to the upgraded highway from Muchea to Chittering Roadhouse (expected to be completed in mid-2020)
Current status: Completed June 2020
Upgrade works included the construction of three km of dual carriageway and 10 km of new wider single carriageway from Muchea through to Chittering Roadhouse.
Other works included:
- Realignment of intersections at Old Gingin Road, Reserve Road, Wandena Road, Maddern South Road and Sugar Gum Drive will also be realigned.
- Repurposing the existing highway for local property access to provide controlled and safer access points to the highway.
Current status – Completed July 2019
The upgrade works included:
- Construction of 10.3 km of new highway
- 5.7 km of widening and improvements
- 1.5 km upgrade of Northam-Pithara Road
- Intersection improvements and modifications within the Pithara townsite
- Planting over 220,000 seedlings within the project site including the area where the redundant highway was removed.
Current status - Completed April 2019
The upgrade works included:
- An eastern bypass around the Miling townsite
- 9 km of upgraded highway and 2.5 km of side road improvements
- Improved flood protection on Miling-Moora Road
- A safer one-metre wide centreline treatment, wider sealed shoulders and two new overtaking lanes
Current status - Completed June 2018
The upgrade works included:
- 22 km of new highway between Miling North Road and Gatti Road
- New overtaking lanes and additional rest areas suitable for heavy vehicles and passenger vehicles
New Norcia Bypass
Current status - Completed May 2017
The upgrade works included:
- A 6 km bypass to the east of the historic town of New Norcia
- A new 88 m bridge over Moore River and a scenic lookout.
The project has helped remove heavy vehicle movements away from the town, allowing for future development and restoration of the town.
Current status - Completed November 2015
Work on the 21 km section between Batty Bog Road and Walebing involved:
- upgrades to improve geometry
- More overtaking opportunities and improved safety
Current status - Completed February 2015
- An 11 km realignment to remove dangerous bends
- A new rail crossing at Balidu-Bindi Road intersection
- More overtaking opportunities.
The project has achieved an ‘Excellent’ IS Design Rating under the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA) Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme. The program of works was the first full infrastructure program to be assessed under the IS Rating Scheme.
The ‘Excellent’ IS Design Rating recognises the joint efforts of the integrated project team of Jacobs, Arup and Main Roads to design for best practice outcomes in sustainability.
“The integrated project team identified sustainability opportunities throughout the program and to implement them into the delivery contracts. These were construct only contracts and it was the first time Main Roads had written sustainability requirements into that form of contract,” Project Director, Norm Fox said.
Jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments, the key objectives of this $347.8 million project include:
- Improved safety
- Increased freight efficiency and reduced traffic delays
- Improved network reliability - improving travel times and enhancing network access
- Enhanced travel wellbeing - improvements in roadside amenities for rest and driver information
- Contribution to sustainable and viable communities - by balancing community concerns, economic, community safety and network access issues
- Enhancement of the environment - by undertaking practices to retain and improve the environmental value of roadsides.
Bindoon Bypass Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Referral
In September 2017, the southern section of the Bindoon Bypass was referred to the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act).
The project was also referred to the Commonwealth Department Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
As the proposal was considered to have the potential for significant impact on both the EPA’s Environmental Factors and EPBC Act Matters of National Environmental Significance, additional surveys were undertaken and a range of information prepared in the form of an Environmental Review Document (ERD) to inform the assessment by the EPA. The ERD also meets the requirements of Preliminary Documentation which will inform the assessment by DAWE.
In accordance with the requirements of Part IV of the EP Act and Section 95A(3) of the EPBC Act, the preliminary documentation for the proposed action the ERD has been published for public review and comment with the review period commencing 25 May 2020. The review period will close on 6 July 2020.
Submissions that deal specifically with matters protected under the EPBC Act should be sent directly to John Braid at Main Roads. Email email@example.com or post to PO Box 6202, East Perth WA 6892.
For more information on how to make a submission under the EP Act and view copies of the ERD document and supporting appendices, please visit the Environment Protection Authority website .
Once the public review period closes, all comments and submissions received will be complied and responses to the submissions prepared. The response to submissions document is expected to be available in August 2020.
The northern section of the Bindoon Bypass is expected to receive assessment of the required native vegetation clearing permit in June 2020.
EPBC Construction Environmental Management Plans
- Muchea North Construction Environmental Management Plan - PDF (2.58 MB)
- See additional environmental documents at Construction Projects Reports.
- Media Statement: Completed upgrades north of Muchea make Great Northern Highway even greater - 24 June 2020
- Media Statement: Great Northern Highway upgrades continue - 14 November 2019
- Media Statement: Great Northern Highway upgrade reaches new milestone - 05 June 2019
- Media Statement: Safer Great Northern highway a step closer - 30 November 2018
- Media Statement: Great Northern Highway's Miling Straight no longer narrow - 21 June 2018
- Media Statement: Work underway on two key Great Northern Highway upgrades - 24 April 2018
- Media Statement: Project savings allocated to Bindoon Bypass - 7 June 2017
Project maps and updates
- Muchea North - New Alignment Traffic Switch - PDF (8.74 MB)
- Muchea North Project Map - PDF (6.47 MB)
- January 2020 construction update - Word document (.98 MB)
- November 2019 construction update - Word document (1.78 MB)
- Wubin Project Map - JPG (950 KB)
- Walebing Map - PDF (5.16 MB)
- Bindoon Bypass Project Map - PDF (2.5 MB)
- Pithara Project Map - PDF (6.78 MB)
- Miling Bypass Project Map - PDF (5.61 MB)
- Miling Straight Map - PDF (5.11 MB)