Bussell Highway 17km upgrade starts

Ailish DelaneyBunbury Herald
Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, Bunbury MLA Don Punch, Transport acting director general Peter Woronzow, Raubex managing director Hans Roux, Forrest MHR Nola Marino and Raubex operations director Fred Ballast turn the first sod to start construction on Friday.
Camera IconCollie-Preston MLA Mick Murray, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, Bunbury MLA Don Punch, Transport acting director general Peter Woronzow, Raubex managing director Hans Roux, Forrest MHR Nola Marino and Raubex operations director Fred Ballast turn the first sod to start construction on Friday. Credit: Ailish Delaney / Bunbury Herald

Construction is now under way on the first stage of the much anticipated widening of Bussell Highway between Capel and Busselton.

Previously voted WA’s riskiest road in a RAC survey, the notorious 17km stretch will become a dual carriageway to help decrease congestion and improve safety.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the first 5km would likely be finished by mid-next year, with stage two now going through the design and environmental approvals processes.

“We completed $4.5 million worth of pre-loading works earlier this year which has allowed us to award the contract for stage one works three months earlier than planned,” Ms Saffioti said.

“We’re seeing a mixture of freight and community traffic and this single lane road has posed both a safety and congestion worry for many people.”

Stages one and two of the widening of Bussell Hwy from Capel to Busselton has been awarded $68 million in Federal Govenrment funding
Camera IconStages one and two of the widening of Bussell Hwy from Capel to Busselton has been awarded $68 million in Federal Govenrment funding Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee/Busselton-Dunsborough Times

Forrest MHR Nola Marino said more than 15,000 vehicles used this section of the highway each day.

“It doesn’t matter which road user you are, this Bussell Highway duplication is critical,” she said.

Ms Saffioti said the project would support 570 direct and indirect jobs.

“As part of all of our contracts, we have local participation plans,” Ms Saffioti said.

“A focus across the State has been maximising local businesses and local workers and that will continue with this project.”

Ms Marino said she would continue to put pressure on ensuring local procurement was a priority.

“The regions produce so much of our national economy ... and this road is a key part of that,” she said.

The Federal money being spent here is about local jobs, local contractors, local subbies.

Nola Marino

The Commonwealth and State governments have jointly funded the project, contributing $68 million and $17 million respectively.

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