Road-over-rail bridges and the realignment of two major intersections will be part of new transport efficiency projects announced for the Pilbara.
Resources giant, BHP, has joined forces with the Australian Government on the projects which include two new roundabouts and removal of three road and rail conflicts in the interest of road safety improvements.
The first of the key projects involves construction of a new 28-metre-long road-over-rail bridge, separating road and rail traffic at Nelson Point main line level crossing on Great Northern Highway in Port Hedland.
Total cost for the project has been budgeted at $36 million with the lion’s share split between the Federal Government ($18.2 million) and BHP ($13.26 million).
The WA Government has confirmed it will kick in funds of an estimated $4.54 million.
Construction of a second bridge over BHP’s rail line to the south at Buttweld Road will also be undertaken and funded by BHP.
The removal of the existing at-grade rail crossing will provide road users with additional safety benefits, improved journey times and a better alternative access for those travelling to and from South Hedland.
To complement the works, BHP has provided further funding to upgrade two intersections to enable the closure of the remaining at-grade BHP rail crossing on Powell Road.
BHP’s General Manager for Rail Operations Warren Wellbeloved said BHP was pleased to contribute towards the rail crossing project at Great Northern Highway and fully fund the removal of the level crossing at Powell Road and a new road-over-rail bridge at the Buttweld Road rail crossing.
“BHP’s total contributions will be in excess of $45 million, an investment that will deliver local jobs in the construction phase and lasting benefits to the Hedland community from a safety and a convenience perspective,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said this was a great example of industry and all levels of government working together.
“The Morrison-McCormack Government will continue supporting job-creating, economy-boosting infrastructure as part of our Economic Recovery Plan for Australia, rebuilding our economy to secure Australia’s future,” the Deputy Prime Minister said in a statement.
“The Government’s record $110 billion transport infrastructure program and $3.5 billion rolling water infrastructure fund will support local jobs and businesses when it is needed most.”
Western Australian Minister for Transport and Planning Rita Saffioti said the projects would remove road and rail conflicts at three major rail crossings in the Pilbara.
“Upgrades to these crossings will improve safety for road and rail users, increase efficiency and reduce travel times while also supporting local jobs,” she said.
“This is a fantastic example of industry and government working together and it complements the $100 million we are spending every month on major transport infrastructure works in regional Western Australia.”
Under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative the Federal Government had committed $900.6 million to WA projects that connect agricultural and mining regions to ports, airports and other transport hubs.
Works are scheduled for completion by mid- 2022.