- New Norcia bypass and floodway improvements for Great Northern Highway
Transport Minister Dean Nalder visited the historic town of New Norcia today to formally advise the community that a traffic bypass around the town would be built by 2017.
Mr Nalder told a gathering of Benedictine monks and other community representatives that funding was now confirmed and construction would take place between early 2016 and mid-2017 on a six-kilometre bypass to the east of town.
"Importantly, this project will go a long way to preserving the historic tourist precinct in the heart of New Norcia, where the Benedictine monks began building their monastery and associated buildings in the late 1840s," he said.
"There has been consultation with the monks, the Shire of Victoria Plains and other stakeholders over five years or more. This is a long awaited project that will enhance pedestrian safety in the town and boost tourism."
The bypass will cost about $30 million. The Federal Government recently confirmed its contribution of $32.2 million with the State Government providing $8 million.
About $10 million of the total allocation will fund the upgrading of five floodways on the Great Northern Highway.
The Minister said the New Norcia bypass project highlighted the ongoing commitment by the Australian and Western Australian governments to improve the safety and efficiency of the Great Northern Highway.
"Currently, we have $450 million committed to upgrading the 218 kilometres of road between Wubin and Muchea," he said.
"The new bypass will complement the $35 million upgrade of the Bindi Bindi curves, which opened to traffic last month (February 24), and the $45 million in improvement works now under way between Walebing and Batty Bog Road, just to the north of New Norcia, to be completed in late 2015."
Main Roads WA is finalising design work for the bypass
It will be constructed to the east of New Norcia over a distance of about six kilometres with a new 80-metre bridge to be constructed over the Moore River
Currently, about 1,300 vehicles pass through New Norcia on a daily basis - about 42% of these are heavy vehicles
The bypass will avoid an historic olive grove planted by the monks when they first arrived
Minister's office - 6552 6400