THE Australian Government has approved $105.34 million to upgrade a three section, 37.6-kilometre length of the Great Northern Highway between Muchea and Wubin, with the WA Government also contributing $26.34 million to the $131.68 million project.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said improving safety and freight productivity on the highway was a major priority of the Australian Government's significant investment in Western Australian infrastructure.
"The Australian Government has committed $275.8 million in total to upgrade the Muchea to Wubin corridor, keeping economically crucial regional areas connected to Perth by enabling safer, more efficient passage of road trains," Mr Chester said.
WA Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said the latest works would upgrade three priority sections around Muchea North, Pithara and Miling. The works form part of a $344.75 million strategy to upgrade the Muchea to Wubin corridor of the road.
"The works will include widening and new overtaking lanes, as well as bypasses and other realignments. Together, these upgrades will improve traffic safety and efficiency for our freight operators by better separating cars and trucks, and upgrading the highway to current design standards," Ms Saffioti said.
Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said once all upgrades were complete, road trains would be able to travel almost 220 kilometres closer to Perth, decoupling their loads in Muchea.
"Completing the corridor strategy will deliver a high-standard freight route from just north of Wubin to Muchea, where a new road train assembly area will be built, and around Perth, ultimately connecting with NorthLink WA and Gateway WA, and offering a boost to industry sectors that rely on freight," Ms Price said.
Construction on the latest sections is expected to start by early 2018 and is due for completion by June 2019, weather permitting.