Final seal and rehabilitation are still being undertaken on the $53 million Coalfields Highway Upgrade. Following recent works, the upgrade will increase safety, increased overtaking opportunities and ultimately reduce the number and severity of crashes.
Coalfields Highway has been progressively upgraded over the last 30 years. Further improvements were required for several reasons:
- There were sections of narrow sealed width, unsealed shoulders and poor geometry (winding, tight curves and crests).
- Safer overtaking opportunities were required for road users to easily overtake slow vehicles.
- Increasing volumes of traffic use the route, including more heavy vehicles and oversized loads servicing the mining, industrial and agricultural sectors.
- Adjacent vegetation close to the edge of the road, including large trees posed a traffic hazard to the road user.
We worked closely with local Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) staff throughout this project in an effort to minimise the impacts of the project on the environment, particularly where the new road interfaces with Wellington National Park. Sustainable outcomes have also been a priority throughout the duration of this project.
Working with the local offices of the Department of Parks and Wildlife, we undertook a number of environmental surveys and heritage consultations to determine impacts and how these should be managed throughout the project. This information was used to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment and subsequently, the project was referred to both the Environmental Protection Authority (State Government) and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment (formally Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities).