Safer bridges on the way for WA’s Albany Highway

Works have started to replace two ageing bridges on the Albany Highway in Williams, Western Australia.

The $12.2 million project, jointly funded by the state government and Federal government, also includes improvements to Albany Highway and intersection improvements at Richardson Road.

Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ leader and minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development, said the $12.2 million project would replace two bridges located at the northern end (over Coalling Creek) and southern end (over Williams River) of Williams.

“The Australian government recognised the significance of these bridges, so we fast-tracked the funding to ensure works began this spring,” McCormack said.

“The replacements will improve driving conditions for local residents and freight operators, delivering safer and more productive bridges that are fit-for-purpose.

“With the replacement of these old bridges, we will also see a reduction in maintenance costs, saving taxpayers’ dollars.”

WA transport minister Rita Saffioti said the project would also include upgrading the Albany Highway and intersection improvements at Richardson Road.

“When the WA government was successful in getting funding from the Bridges Renewal Program earlier this year, we looked at what other Williams traffic improvements we could include,” Saffioti said.

“As a result, the project now includes social amenity improvements, such as additional street lighting and pedestrian connectivity, as well as the two bridges that will improve safety and reliability for all road users on Albany Highway.

“The construction of temporary crossings over the waterways occurred earlier this year, and were also funded by the Australian government, ensuring local, tourist and freight traffic can continue using Albany Highway during these important bridge works.”

The new bridges will have higher load limits, which are increasing from 20 tonnes to 166 tonnes, providing a major benefit to the heavy vehicle industry on one of the state’s major freight routes.

Approximately 4,500 vehicles use the bridges in Williams each day, with 17 per cent of them heavy vehicles.

“Temporary bridges and speed restrictions will be in place during the construction phase, so we would like to thank local community residents for their patience, while these upgrades are being done,” McCormack added.

The Australian government has committed $5 million to the project under Round 3 of the Bridges Renewal Program and the WA government will fund the remaining costs of $7.2 million to deliver the approved project scope.

The replacements are expected to be complete by the end of 2019.

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