In early 2017, the former Minister for Transport endorsed Western Bypass Corridor A for further planning and development.
The existing highway through Bindoon is congested for traffic particularly in light of the stopping distances required by heavy vehicles. A bypass has been planned to improve safety by reducing the number of heavy vehicle movements through the town.
Earlier planning identified a route that passed east of the town and joined back to the existing road over Bindoon Hill. Ultimately, 53.5 m road train operation will extend south to Muchea. During the planning review that commenced in 2014, it was identified that the steep grades and tight curves on Bindoon Hill were not suitable for safe use by 53.5m road trains.
To resolve these issues, realignment and upgrade options were considered in the vicinity along with a number of alternatives between Muchea and Calingiri West Road. Three feasible bypass corridor options were presented to the local community and stakeholders for feedback and consultation in mid-2016.
On completion of consultation, each bypass option was carefully assessed against a range of safety, social, economic, heritage, environmental, traffic and transport efficiency criteria.
To allow land requirement definition and acquisition, $20 million has been allocated to undertake pre-construction work, comprising $16 million from the Australian Government and $4 million from the State Government.
This will allow completion of the planning and preliminary design process, seeking of construction approvals and protection of the planned route through land acquisition, providing certainty for landowners and the wider Bindoon community. Land acquisition processes have commenced on several properties along the planned route.
The bypass alignment is currently being refined in consultation with affected landowners to minimise impacts on them and other stakeholders. A series of environmental, heritage and geotechnical surveys are also being completed.
Federal funding of $220 million for the Bindoon Bypass was included in the Prime Minister’s announcement of 27 April 2018 to allow construction from Chittering Roadhouse in the south to join up to the recently constructed New Norcia Bypass.
Bindoon Bypass Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Referral
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) released the Bindoon Bypass Referral documentation on Friday 15 September 2017 for a 7-day public comment period.
The project will require assessment and approval by the EPA with the level of assessment set at a Public Environmental Review (PER) level. The Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy (DoEE) is currently reviewing the referral. As the Bindoon Bypass is in the early stages of planning, a much larger Development Envelope has been included in the referral than will be required once the design is completed. This is to accommodate changes to the design in response to potential social, environmental and engineering concerns. The GNH Project team are currently preparing the Environmental Review Document for presentation to the EPA.
The team are currently undertaking ecological surveys to identify the environmental values of the project area and plan to undertake additional technical studies in the coming months based on direction from the EPA.
For more information on the referral process and/or to view the associated documentation, please visit the EPA website.