Tenders have been called for the third and final stage of the $30 million South Coast Highway safety improvement program in Western Australia’s Great Southern region.
Stage three of the project involves the construction of two passing lanes between Bluff Creek Road and Kojaneerup West Road, and is expected to create up to 150 direct and indirect jobs across the life of the project.
The project is one of the first to be tendered under the new State-wide Construction Panel Contract, established in April 2020 to expedite the delivery of projects across Western Australia.
The panel, designed to streamline the process for the awarding of contracts up to a value of $20 million, creates more opportunities for local businesses and protects local jobs.
Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “One of our key election commitments in the Great Southern region was to upgrade South Coast Highway.
“We have already completed stages one and two of this vital upgrade and today we start getting stage three underway by opening tenders up to industry.
“More than 150 direct and indirect local jobs have been created over the life of this $30 million project, providing a boost to the local economy.
“The McGowan Government is committed to regional road safety and completion of this project will provide safer travelling opportunities and improve transport efficiency for local road users, heavy vehicle operators and tourists in our Great Southern.”
Stage one, between Killarney Road and Monty’s Leap winery, was completed in June 2019 and included the construction of a passing lane at Mead Road.
Stage two, between Monty’s Leap Winery and the Kalgan River Bridge, was completed in April 2020, and included the widening of a 2.8km section of highway, from seven metres to eleven metres, including a two metre sealed-shoulder in each direction.
The three-stage project has been designed to improve safety for local residents, tourists and heavy vehicle operators accessing the highway, an important freight transport corridor servicing the ports at Albany and Esperance.
Albany MLA, Peter Watson, said, “Upgrading South Coast Highway was one of my key election commitments and I’m pleased to be delivering on this promise.
“This project will provide a much needed boost for our local economy while also supporting local jobs and businesses.
“I’m looking forward to seeing works commence later this year.”
Construction of stage three is due to commence in late-November 2020, with completion expected May 2021.
The Western Australian Government has also recently forged a partnership with the Federal Government to secure $100 million to upgrade 1,400km of regional roads across the state.