​Marble Bar Road - Coongan Gorge Realignment

Jointly funded by the Australian and State Governments, the realignment of Marble Bar Road through Coongan Gorge will improve safety and efficiency for all road users travelling to the central Pilbara Region. Marble Bar Road provides access to a number of mining operations and local communities between Newman, Nullagine, Marble Bar and several aboriginal communities including Jigalong and Punmu. The four kilometre section of road through Coongan Gorge is currently a narrow winding section of road with steep descents, tight curves and restrictive sight distances.

As part of the WA Regional Freight Transport Network Plan this upgrade will significantly improve road safety and reduce transport vehicle operating costs and travel times. The contract to undertake these works was awarded to MACA Civil Pty Ltd and will also include the upgrade of the Marble Bar Road and Limestone-Marble Bar Road intersection.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Image: Construction area

Latest news

Roadworks update

Works are ongoing until late-March from 6am to 6pm at the Limestone-Marble Bar Intersection. Traffic management is in place and speed reductions to 60 km/h, and 40 km/h in some sections.

Marble Bar Road realignment continues until late-May from 6am to 6pm. Traffic management has temporary side tracks and speed reductions in place to 60 km/h, and 40 km/h in some sections.

Alternative water source

Due to unseasonably dry weather, an alternative source of water needed to be identified for the project. Following extensive investigations, the only alternative viable source is a local water hole known as 'Long Pool'. We previously secured a permit to draw water from this site for the project in August 2018. We are aware that some members of the community may have concerns about the use of Long Pool as a water source and are committed to minimising any associated impacts. The use of Long Pool is a temporary arrangement until the two previously used bores have replenished. Public access to the area around Long Pool will be maintained. See our Construction Update for more information.

Environment

Managing and minimising environmental impacts of these works is a priority for the project team.

For example, clearing of the site was completed by 1 August 2018 to avoid impacting the breeding season of the Northern Quoll.

Other initiatives include the construction of fauna underpasses, to enable native fauna to safely travel through the new road alignment. The underpasses will be monitored with cameras in place to record fauna movements.

Information about water sourcing for the project can be found in our Project Fact Sheet.

Scope of works

Coongan Gorge Realignment

  • Realignment and upgrade of the four kilometre section of Marble Bar Road that passes through Coongan Gorge
  • Construction of culverts and off-road drainage
  • Installation of safety barriers, signs and pavement markings, guide posts and road reserve boundary fencing

Marble Bar Road and Limestone-Marble Bar Road Intersection

  • Right turn pocket on Limestone-Marble Bar Road eastbound carriageway
  • Acceleration lane on Marble Bar Road eastbound
  • Left turn pocket on Marble Bar Road westbound
  • Left turn pocket on Marble Bar Road northbound

 

 

 

 

​Benefits

  • Remove steep descents, tight curves and restrictive sight distances
  • Allow for a speed limit of 110 km/h, compared to the current 40 km/h in some sections
  • An acceleration lane eastbound at Marble Bar Road-Limestone Road will create safe turning options and less disruption to through traffic
  • Improve road safety, reduce travel times and improve reliability
  • Reduce transport vehicle operating costs and travel times

 

​Key dates

Mid 2018: Construction start 

Mid 2019: Construction completion

Last Updated: 08 March 2019