Port Hedland road and rail improvements get underway

Port Hedland
Photo: Southern Cross Maritime.

Work is now underway on the first stage of road and rail improvements in Port Hedland, with the first contract awarded for two ‘road-over-rail’ bridge projects.

Main Roads WA has awarded a $31.48 million contract to the Highway Construction-Albem Operations joint venture to deliver the Buttweld Road ‘road-over-rail’ bridge near Port Hedland.

The bridge 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)

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.

Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said the project aimed to improve safety and create local jobs.

“This is a fantastic example of industry and government working together to achieve benefits for the whole community,” she said.

“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 was 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.”

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

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