The last unsealed section of the Goldfields Highway will finally see essential works undertaken, thanks to a $60 million Royalties for Regions investment and a collaboration between local shires, regional development commissions and the Liberal National Government.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the collaboration between the shires of Meekatharra and Wiluna, Main Roads Western Australia and the Mid West and Goldfields-Esperance development commissions showed the way forward for regional development.
"By working together, the parties have been able to reach an agreement on a low-cost solution that includes design standards and a partnership delivery model to enable the highway to be sealed within a short timeframe," Mr Redman said.
"This approach will allow the sealing to be completed by the shires for a reduced cost and provide flow-on benefits for local communities during and post construction."
The Sealing Goldfields Highway project will see the 180 kilometres of road between Wiluna and Meekatharra sealed, greatly improving local accessibility, freight and economic opportunities in the region.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder said sealing the Wiluna to Meekatharra section would reduce the travel distance to the Pilbara region by almost 140km when compared with the distance via the Mount Magnet to Leinster Road, which was currently the shortest sealed road route.
"This distance saving will provide significant benefits for local and regional economies, particularly the resource, heavy transport and freight industries," Mr Nalder said.
Direct sealed route between the Goldfields, Mid-West and Pilbara regions to provide regional and freight traffic benefits
Project will seal the final 124km of the 180km highway between Wiluna and Meekatharra
In 2005, 15km west of Wiluna was sealed to a width of eight metres
In 2012, the State Government allocated $10m of Royalties for Regions funding, matched by Main Roads' State Capital funds, enabling another 21km of road to be sealed
Project is a priority identified in the Mid West and Goldfields Esperance Regional Blueprints
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Transport Minister's office - 6552 6400