Great Northern Highway $50M package to boost freight network

A cabover prime mover pulls a tanker in the outback.

The delivery of 11 overtaking lanes on Great Northern Highway between Newman and Port Hedland is now underway as part of a $50 million package of works.

The lanes, which have been included under the Australian Government’s newly announced Great Northern Highway corridor, will help support the Pilbara region’s booming mining industry and foster economic development as well as improve road safety for heavy vehicle drivers and other road users.

The major package of works is jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments, with the Australian Government providing $40 million and the Western Australian Government $10 million.

With more than 60 per cent of traffic between Newman and Port Hedland comprising of heavy vehicles, the new lanes are expected to enhance the existing freight network, increasing transport efficiency and improving road safety.

The works will also deliver important benefits to the local tourism and pastoral industries and access to local Aboriginal communities.

The overtaking lanes will be delivered in two stages with the first stage to see five new overtaking lanes built between Newman and Auski. These will include three southbound overtaking lanes and two northbound overtaking lanes.

A second contract to deliver six overtaking lanes on the Great Northern Highway between Auski and Port Hedland is expected to be awarded before the middle of the year.

“These overtaking lanes will improve road safety by providing and encouraging safe overtaking opportunities, reducing driver frustration from drivers not being able to overtake slower-moving vehicles,” said Senator for Western Australia, Glenn Sterle.

“Residents, drivers and importantly our hard-working truckies in Western Australia’s north will greatly benefit for years to come from this work being funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments.

“As someone who still drives trucks along this route, I know this work is going to make a great difference for our truckies.”

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said the overtaking lanes will reduce delays and improve traffic flow on the Great Northern Highway.

“This is an exciting next step as we continue to build the infrastructure that communities in Western Australia need and deserve,” she said.

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