Karratha-Tom Price Road
Karratha to Tom Price
Stages 1 and 2 are complete. Remaining work includes:
- Stage 3: Construction and sealing of the 48 km section following Roebourne-Wittenoom Road to the rail crossing.
- Stage Four: A 107 km section from the Rio Tinto rail crossing to Nanutarra-Munjina Road on new alignment following the Rio Tinto rail line through some very rugged terrain.
The project has a strong focus on creating regional employment and opportunities for local businesses, including aboriginal companies.
Progress on Stage 3 is tracking well, with a 38 km section of subbase material placed and compacted. So far, 24 culverts for drainage structures have been completed, with rock protection currently underway. At Millstream Road intersection, the subbase layer has been constructed.
Sealing of the first section commenced in May. There was a considerable amount of repair work required after Tropical Cyclone Damien battered the Pilbara in February. Stage 3 is now on track for completion in August.
Project development will shortly start for Stage 4, with construction is expected to commence in late 2022.Key planning decisions:
- Road interface with FMG rail bridge agreed
- Corridor selected near Hammersley Homestand in consultation with Eastern Garuma traditional owners.
- Road will be on the western side of the existing rail line
- Road to accommodate RAV10 vehicles.
- Environmental surveys in the Hamersley Range.
- Targeted Aboriginal Heritage Surveys focusing on river crossing locations
- Hydrological investigations
- Geotechnical investigations
We are in the select phase of planning for Stage 4. Underpinned by sustainability, this phase includes the development of objectives and targets which will be embedded into project delivery and procurement processes.
Key outcomes of this phase will include maximising social and cultural opportunities, sustainable use of recycled materials, existing infrastructure and land use and providing a resilient ‘Pilbara proof’ asset.Tasks underway to meet these outcomes include:
- Legacy and innovation
- Sustainability management and leadership.
To understand possible sustainable, positive legacy outcomes, we continue to seek input from stakeholders.
We are committed to engaging with stakeholders to ensure their input is considered during the design, whilst providing value-for-money outcomes.
We will engage with the wider communities of Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Roebourne and Karratha to ensure the project leaves a positive legacy to the Pilbara. Timely communications and ongoing liaison will continue throughout the life of the project.
Minimising the environmental footprint
Stage 3 is under the conditions of Ministerial Statement 677. In accordance with these conditions, we have developed a number of management plans that provide for the management of environment factors such as surface water drainage, vegetation protection and rehabilitation and road construction in the Millstream Chichester National Park. These plans provide a high level of protection to ensure that any potential environmental impacts are avoided or minimised.
A Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment has been undertaken to identify any environmental factors that may be impacted by the Stage 4 road alignment. A vegetation, flora and fauna survey has also been undertaken. Results of these surveys will help determine what can be done to avoid or minimise environmental impacts, after which a referral will be sent to WA Environmental Protection Authority and Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment for their assessment.
Incorporating and managing cultural heritage
Stage 4 is located within Yindjibarndi-Ngarluma and Eastern Guruma country, with many areas of great significance to local Aboriginal people, including Hamersley Range, Fortescue River, Weelamurra Creek and Hamersley Homestead.
We have been working with Yindjibarndi-Ngarluma and Eastern Guruma representative groups to understand cultural and social implications of the project, aiming for a positive and respectful relationship throughout the project lifecycle.
Heritage surveys are being organised to identify cultural and heritage sites to inform the road alignment design to minimise or avoid impacts.Aboriginal procurement and employment targets
- Stage 3: Targets set for Aboriginal employment (13 per cent, including 5 per cent locals) and a 15 per cent target with a total contract spend on local Aboriginal Businesses of 5 per cent.
- Stage 4 targets are being finalised
A 48 km section of the Roebourne-Wittenoom Road is closed and traffic is detoured via the Rio Tinto Iron Ore Rail Maintenance Track.
To use the detour, a permit is required via the Rio Tinto website. This permit must be obtained prior to commencing your journey, as permits cannot be granted when you reach the detour.
- Travel time saving of over two and a half hours compared to the alternative sealed route
- Improved connectivity between Karratha, Roebourne, Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Newman
- Improved safety
- Better access to hospitals and medical services, local businesses, shopping and service centres
- Reduced maintenance and travel costs
- Improved regional tourism opportunities
- More reliable journeys by reducing road closures, particularly during winter
- October 2019: Stage 3 construction started
- August 2020: Stage 3 construction complete
- Late 2021: Stage 4 development work finishes
- Late 2022: Stage 4 construction starts