Murray Criddle

Murray Criddle


    Work on new Northam Bypass to start in January

    12/01/2001 1:48 PM

    Work is about to get under way on the multi-million-dollar Northam Bypass, which will redirect more than 600 heavy vehicles a day away from the busy town centre and streamline the State’s most important interstate freight haulage route.

    The 14.9km bypass will take through traffic around the northern outskirts of the township, removing traffic problems that have plagued the busy Fitzgerald Street shopping precinct for years.

    Transport Minister Murray Criddle said that the BGC Contracting and Barclay Mowlem joint venture had won the contract to design and construct the $40 million project.

    Work on the Commonwealth-funded project will start this month with the project expected to be completed by mid-2002.

    “Great Eastern Highway is Western Australia’s primary interstate road haulage corridor and I’m pleased that finally, the bypass can become a reality,” Mr Criddle said.

    “Not only will the freight link become much safer and more efficient for the road transport industry but the benefits for the Northam community will be immeasurable.

    “The new road will allow trucks to skirt the town rather than have to negotiate the narrow main street of Northam.

    “Main Roads traffic counts a year ago showed an average of 6,700 vehicles used Fitzgerald Street every day with 670 of them being heavy trucks, mostly on interstate haulage.

    “The townspeople, heavy haulage operators, and other users of Great Eastern Highway will collectively enjoy the benefits this project will bring.

    “Without the constant stream of traffic through the town centre Northam has a unique opportunity to redefine itself and promote regional tourism.”

    Mr Criddle applauded the efforts of Federal Transport Minister John Anderson for obtaining the necessary funding to accelerate construction of the bypass.

    “The project will offer many opportunities for businesses in Northam during the contract period of approximately 18 months,” he said.

    The bypass is being built as a single carriageway (one lane each way), with three additional passing lanes (one eastbound and two westbound) on uphill sections. Features include:
    • 10 bridges, and several underpasses;
    • a parking bay near the western end and a tourist information bay/rest area for westbound traffic at the eastern tie-in;
    • a dual use path for the Avon River Bridge and the Katrine Road scenic route crossing;
    • space within the road reserve for additional lanes. Cleared areas will be revegetated with native ground covers, shrubs and trees; and -
    • resurfacing of Fitzgerald Street in Northam.

    The BGC Contracting-Barclay Mowlem joint venture will also construct a new traffic bridge in Toodyay over the Avon River. The work will replace the narrow timber bridge on the Goomalling-Toodyay Road on its approach to Toodyay.

    Media contact:
    Doug Cunningham 9321 7333