Construction is now underway on Stage 1 of the much anticipated Bussell Highway dual carriageway in the state's South West.
The construction of the dual carriage will remove the bottleneck that has caused long lines of traffic, especially during holiday periods, while also improving overall safety, reducing travel times and driver frustration.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government was partnering with the Western Australian Government to fast-track regional shovel-ready projects to get the economy moving again.
"The Australian Government's funding for this project is drawn from our recently announced $1.5 billion allocation to priority shovel-ready projects and targeted road safety works," the Deputy Prime Minister said.
"We are investing in our post-pandemic future by delivering lasting infrastructure which will kick-start our economic recovery and benefit Australians for years to come."
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti was joined by South West representatives, Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino, State Member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray and State Member for Bunbury Don Punch to turn the sod to mark the start of works on the $85 million project.
Ms Saffioti said the McGowan Government had worked to fast track the project to get workers on the ground as soon as possible.
"We completed $4.5 million worth of pre-loading works earlier this year which has allowed us to award the contract for Stage 1 works three months earlier than planned," she said.
"This project will support 570 direct and indirect jobs while also improving safety and easing congestion. Along with other major projects such as Bunbury Outer Ring Road, we are creating the biggest infrastructure boost the South West has ever seen.
"This project, combined with the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, will save motorists travelling between Perth and Busselton at least 15 minutes - and likely a lot more during holiday periods."
A 17-kilometre section of Bussell Highway will be duplicated, fixing a notorious bottleneck between Capel and Busselton that was previously voted WA's riskiest road in an RAC survey.
Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino said between the Bunbury Outer Ring Road project and Bussell Highway, the Federal Government has committed $750 million to major road projects in the South West.
"Over 15,000 vehicles use this section of Bussell Highway each day and the upgrades will improve safety for general and freight road users," Ms Marino said.
"I'm focused on the level of local procurement, local jobs and local contractors that will be working on both of these projects."
The project is being undertaken in two stages, with work on upgrading the 5 kilometres between the Capel Bypass and Hutton Road now underway and expected to be completed in mid-2021. The second stage includes construction of the remaining 12-kilometre section between Hutton Road and Busselton, along with three bridges.
Preparation works, including design and environmental approvals, for stage two of the project are continuing.
State Member for Bunbury Don Punch said the project had been much anticipated in the South West region and he was pleased it was now underway.
"With construction on the duplication starting and the Bunbury Outer Ring Road construction starting next year, travel within the South West region will soon become safer than ever before," Mr Punch said.
State Member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray said the project would make it easier for South West visitors and residents alike.
"We know how popular the South West of WA is and this additional lane will make a big difference for that peak period holiday traffic," Mr Murray said.
The project is jointly funded with the Australian Government contributing $68 million and the State Government contributing $17 million.
Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500