The Western Australian Government has named the preferred contractor for the first stage of the Bussell Highway dual carriageway.

Raubex Construction was named as the preferred contractor for the first stage between Capel Bypass and Hutton Road.

Fast-tracked to boost the economy post COVID-19, the $85 million duplication project is expected to support more than 570 direct and indirect jobs during construction and provide opportunities for local businesses.

Works will commence on Stage One of the project in October 2020, and will involve the construction of a 5km section of carriageway, along with reconstruction works on an existing section of the highway, resulting in two lanes in each direction.

Stage One is expected to be completed by June 2021.

Plans for Stage Two are progressing well and involve construction of the remaining 12km section between Hutton Road and Busselton, along with the duplication of three bridges over the Abba, Sabina and Ludlow Rivers.

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 money flowing into jobs and businesses as soon as possible, while strengthening the economy in the long-run. 

“Our focus is getting people back into work quickly, which is why we allocated $1.5 billion to prioritise shovel-ready projects and targeted road safety works that can provide a boost to the economy and support jobs immediately,” Mr McCormack said.

“We are continuing to roll out major projects nationwide under our $100 billion infrastructure investment pipeline, laying the foundations for recovery on the other side of COVID-19.” 

Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, said this was one of the major road projects his government had worked to fast track. 

“The $85 million Bussell Highway duplication is one of the major infrastructure projects we have worked to fast track to create local jobs and provide opportunities for local businesses,” Mr McGowan said. 

“We estimate we’ve managed to bring this project forward almost three months.”

Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said the project had been a priority for the local community and she was pleased to work with the Australian Government to secure funding for the project.

“We completed $4.5 million worth of pre-construction works for Stage One of this project earlier this year, paving the way for major construction works to start before the end of 2020,” Ms Saffioti said.

“We’re committed to supporting regional Western Australia, which is why we are spending almost $100 million a month on regional infrastructure projects to boost the local regional economies.”

Federal Member for Forrest, Nola Marino, said between the Bunbury Outer Ring Road project and Bussell Highway, the Federal Government has committed $628 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 focussed on the level of local procurement, local jobs and local contractors that will be working on both of these projects.”

State Member for Bunbury, Don Punch, said Stage One would provide opportunities for local South West businesses. 

“With the duplication construction starting in October and Bunbury Outer Ring Road construction starting next year, travel within the South West region will soon become safer than ever before,” Mr Punch said.

The $85 million project is jointly-funded with the Australian Government committing $68 million and the Western Australian Government $17 million.

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