Vital road and rail safety upgrades now underway at WA Port Hedland

Monica Gameng   |   August 29, 2021
Port Hedland crossing (cr: Main Roads WA)

The first stage of road and rail improvements in Port Hedland, Western Australia is now underway, with the $31.48 million construction contract awarded to the Highway Construction and Albem Operations joint venture. 

This stage of road and rail improvements is fully funded by BHP and delivered in partnership with the Western Australian Government through Main Roads WA. 

“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,” Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said. 

Stage 1 works will deliver a new ‘road-over-rail’ bridge at Buttweld Road near Port Hedland. 

The entire $68 million package of works will be delivered in phases, including: 

  • Stage 1: Construction of a 34-metre-long bridge over BHP’s rail line south of Buttweld Road bridge 
  • Stage 1: Closure of Powell Road and construction of traffic roundabouts at the Dalton and Hamilton roads intersections. The roundabouts will be built either side of the rail line and complement the ‘road-over-rail’ bridges by removing access over the rail crossing 
  • Stage 2: 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 

“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,” Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said. 

hedland-road-mapProject map (source: Main Roads WA)

This project aims to improve safety and traffic flow at three key rail crossings in the Pilbara region as well as increase productivity and reduce road/rail conflict. 

“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 eliminated 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,” Premier Mark McGowan said. 

The Hedland Road and Rail Safety Improvements project is jointly funded by BHP and the Australian and Western Australian Governments – each contributing $45.26 million, $18.2 million and $4.54 million respectively. 

Approximately 90 jobs are anticipated to be created over the life of the project, with project completion expected in late 2022. 

“BHP is committed to the Pilbara and this funding package will improve safety at our level 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,” BHP Western Australia Iron Ore asset president Brandon Craig said. 

Source: Government of Western Australia – Media Statements; Main Roads Western Australia; Infrastructure Magazine 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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