Australia plans $333m upgrade to ‘most dangerous road’

Australia is to upgrade the Great Northern Highway between Muchea and Wubin in Western Australia at a cost of US$333m.  

The road has become notorious for accidents, often caused by trucks carrying bulky mining machinery. A video posted as part of a Facebook campaign to improve the road illustrates the dangers motorists face on the route. 

Jamie Briggs, the federal government’s assistant minister for infrastructure, said upgrades would include the realignment and widening of the highway, the improvement of intersections and the provision of additional overtaking lanes.  

Briggs said: "The planning review will be conducted over nine months to develop a revised upgrade strategy for the 218km corridor, with design and construction packages to be awarded and delivered over the following four years from 2015 to 2019." 

He added: "The review will identify priority upgrades to ensure we improve driver safety and the economic performance of the highway so freight can be delivered more quickly and efficiently at less cost to industry." 

Dean Nalder, Western Australia’s minister for transport, said: "This highway is Australia’s longest, providing an important link between our resource-rich regions in the north and our export ports in the south. 

Christian Porter, federal member for Pearce in Western Australia, said: "As a vital corridor for the State’s resources industry, this section of highway between Muchea and Wubin, is notorious as one of our State’s most dangerous stretches of roads and is in desperate need of upgrading." 

The Great Northern Highway extends for 3,200km between Perth in the north-west of the country and Wyndham on the northern coast.

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