Bussell Highway dual carriageway construction starts

Federal and state government representatives turn the sod for construction on the dual carriageway of the Bussell Highway. Photo supplied.
Federal and state government representatives turn the sod for construction on the dual carriageway of the Bussell Highway. Photo supplied.

The dream of less built-up traffic along the Bussell Highway is another step closer with stage one of construction starting on October 16.

Construction will see the stretch between Capel and Busselton become a dual carriageway.

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.

There has been a significant push for the upgrade since 2017 after several crashes and fatalities occurred on that stretch of road.

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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," he 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, Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray and Bunbury MLA Don Punch to turn the sod to mark the start of works on the $85 million project.

Ms Saffioti said the WA 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.

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"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."

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 will be done in two stages, with work on upgrading the five 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.

This story Dual carriageway works begin first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.