York Merredin Road Improvements
We are progressing a project to widen 64 kilometres of the York Merredin Road between York and Quairading with safety our key focus.
We are finalising a Construction Reference Group to seek input from the community about construction timing and impacts. Meetings will be held in the evening at local venues every 4-8 weeks starting in July 2017.
The CRG will include representatives from:
- local government authorities;
- road users;
- landowners and community groups (resident associations and environmental groups);
- local businesses; and
- emergency services.
To prepare for 2017/18 works, we are reviewing the current design, with the aim of identifying more areas where high value trees and vegetation can be retained without compromising safety. We place great value on the environment, historic and Aboriginal heritage values and aim to balance this with the need to ensure the safety of all road users.
This work follows on from the 2016-17 widening works between Leeming Road and (1 km short of) Mackie Road, and clearing of vegetation between Lightly Place and Mackie Road intersections. We discussed these works with local community members, stakeholders, local governments and the Wildflower Society. Working together, we identified where guardrail safety barriers could be installed. The barrier installations allowed us to save over 60 older trees in the 2016/17 works package that we statutory approval to clear, although there was an additional cost to the project (and the State).
Scope of works
To improve safety and extend the road life, we began safety improvement works in 2012/13 . These works are being undertaken in stages and will improve driving conditions for all road users by:
- widening shoulders and installing audible edge lines
- investigating roadside areas to determine whether protection or removal of roadside hazards is required; and
- trialing audible centre lines west of Quairading. We welcome feedback on this trail by submitting an online form.
Depending on final approved government funding, the program includes:
- widening between Lightly Place and Leeming Road;
- 1 km section including the bridge up to Mackie Road; and
- 7 km section east of Harrison Road to tie in with the previous works at Quairading.
The project has been modified to minimise clearing and we have made considerable effort to protect environmental features during project development, including:
- Avoiding mature trees where it would not have an impact on the proposed safety improvement.
- Where practical, widen one side only to minimise the environmental impact
- Optimise the road footprint by steepening batters and introducing new sections of safety barriers where feasible
- The locations of potential breeding trees for Black Cockatoos were identified in an environmental survey and were used to amend the design to minimise the number of trees to be removed.
- Native species common to the area will be used to rehabilitate road batters, surplus land (including the existing road), various tracks, and materials pits.
- In 2015 we revegetated 176 ha, of which 76 ha was an offset.
EPBC Act Compliance Report