Port Hedland road and rail improvements are underway, with the first contract awarded for two ‘road-over-rail’ bridge projects and Stage 1 works beginning.

The contract has been awarded for the $31.48 million ‘road-over-rail’ bridge project at Buttweld Road to Highway Construction-Albem Operations Joint Venture. 

Stage 1 of the Port Hedland projects will be fully funded by BHP and delivered by the Western Australian Government through Main Roads WA, and Stage 2 is funded by BHP, Federal Government and the Western Australian Government

The bridge at Buttweld Road is part of an estimated $68 million package of works split into three phases:

  1. Construction of a 34-metre-long bridge over BHP’s rail line south of Buttweld Road bridge (Stage 1)
  2. Closure of Powell Road and construction of traffic roundabouts at the Dalton and Hamilton roads intersections, with the roundabouts to be built either side of the rail line and complement the ‘road-over-rail’ bridges by removing access over the rail crossing (Stage 1) 
  3. Construction of a 31-metre-long ‘road-over-rail’ bridge on the Port Hedland Airport Deviation at the Nelson Point main level crossing on Great Northern Highway (Stage 2)

Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “This is a fantastic example of industry and government working together to achieve benefits for the whole community.

“We have a strong focus on regional road safety, with major projects underway across regional WA to improve safety and create local jobs, including through our Regional Road Safety Program.”

Main Roads will manage the works with total funding for the road-over-rail projects provided by BHP ($45.26 million), the Federal Government ($18.2 million) and the Western Australian Government ($4.54 million).

Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, said, “This is an important package of improvements that will bring major safety and economic benefits to Port Hedland.

“The three rail crossings carry a total of 6,000 vehicles per day, and providing bridges not only removes the risk of accidents, but eliminates the need for people to wait in their vehicles while long freight trains pass by.

“My Government is pleased to partner with BHP and the Commonwealth to support these important upgrades.”

BHP Western Australia Iron Ore asset president, Brandon Craig, said, “BHP is committed to the Pilbara and this funding package will improve safety at our level rail crossings and provide jobs to the local community while allowing travel around Port Hedland to become more efficient.

“There is nothing more important to BHP than the safety of our people and the community – we welcome the opportunity to work with the State Government and Main Roads on this important safety initiative.”

Around 90 jobs will be created over the life of the works, which are expected to be finished in late 2022.  

Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel, said, “I’ve been stuck at these level crossings waiting for freight trains to cross many times.

“These upgrades will be very welcome by many locals who frequently drive this route between the airport and South Hedland.”

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