Why are you considering building a new road? Can’t you upgrade the existing roads?

    To properly address safety and efficiency considerations for all road users, it is not possible to do localised upgrades on much of the existing road network. 

    The current alignment of the road through built up areas means that it would not be possible to upgrade to a level best suited for the freight and heavy vehicles. Best outcomes for safety and for efficiency would be achieved by providing a new route away from built up areas including residences, shops, businesses and schools. The location of the new corridor has been informed considering existing and proposed developments, environmental and heritage constraints and flood risk areas.

    How do I provide comment on your preferred corridor?

    Once you have reviewed the information available at www.mysaytransport.wa.gov.au/main-roads, you are invited to provide feedback in one of the following ways:

    When will you make a decision?

    Once this consultation is complete, we will review all feedback, make any final refinements to the preferred corridor and finalise a report for local government and stakeholders. By mid-2021 we hope to be able to make a recommendation to the WA Planning Commission and local government for final endorsement.

    If my property is affected by the final road corridor, will you buy some or all of my land?

    This study is a high-level planning study ONLY. There is currently no funding available for detailed design or construction. Typically, funding for land acquisition only becomes available when a project is funded for construction by government. In exceptional circumstances, Main Roads may consider early acquisition but this will be considered on a case by case basis.

    How did Main Roads select this preferred option?

    In 2015 we assessed a broad range of possibilities for a new route then shortlisted three feasible corridors between Dongara and Geraldton and another three between Geraldton and Northampton. We then undertook comprehensive community and stakeholder consultation on these options in late 2015. Having assessed the feedback received from this consultation, tested assumptions from the early planning and considered the current economic and development situation in the Mid West region, we have now identified our preferred option. This preferred corridor offers the best value for money and achieves the best balance of environmental, social, economic and engineering factors.

    When will you build this new route?

    This study is a high level planning study ONLY. There is no funding for detailed design or construction. The planning seeks to protect any land required for the ultimate alignment, however staged upgrades may be delivered as smaller projects if funding is made available. Main Roads will continue working with stakeholders to identify when upgrades are required and the most appropriate way of delivering smaller packages of works.

    How does your preferred corridor align with the local planning scheme and other land use planning strategies?

    As part of our assessment of options, Main Roads reviewed endorsed and agreed planning documents and strategies and found no major conflicts. 

    We also reviewed high level documents including the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. This strategy was developed by all Australian governments and endorsed by the Transport and Infrastructure Council in August 2019. More information about this strategy is available at http://www.freightaustralia.gov.au/.  

    The DGN route will eventually play a critical role in enabling triple road trains to efficiently travel south to Muchea, which is part of the State Government’s long-term freight strategy.

    If you are planning for the DGN route, does this mean the proposed Geraldton North-South Highway (GNSH) is no longer being considered?

    No. The planning for the GNSH - completed in 2012 – sought to address safety and freight issues caused by heavy vehicles travelling on Brand Highway and North West Coastal Highway through Geraldton. While it would alleviate some pressures by providing a parallel network to existing NWCH, it is still located within a built-up area and would not cater for the needs of strategic freight movement. The GNSH corridor has been protected and the road will be an important distributor road in the future. This infrastructure is still expected to be built when the need is clearly illustrated by population and traffic growth, however it will not safely cater for the predicted increase in oversize vehicles and road trains. It also won’t resolve current and future safety and freight issues on NWCH north of Webberton Road; nor will it resolve the issue of increased heavy vehicles on Brand Highway, including the flood risk area.

    Is this the same as the Oakajee Narngulu Infrastructure Corridor (ONIC)?

    No, but we are seeking to use the same corridor to minimise impacts. We can separate the planned transport infrastructure within this corridor, allowing a future road to be built independently of any planned rail. This approach does not preclude future rail planning, which remains the responsibility of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Industry (JTSI).

    Why is Arthur Road proposed as part of the southern alignment between Dongara and Geraldton, rather than Edward Road?

    Geraldton Walkaway Road (Edward Road) is an important link to the south east of Geraldton, however upgrading this road would be very difficult to build due to constraints. There is a rail line on one side and a number of above and below ground utility corridors adjacent to the road. In addition, there are a lot of access points directly to the road, which would need to be managed with either a service road (significantly increasing the land required and construction/maintenance costs associated with delivering a future road) or alternative access arrangements (eg. across someone else’s land). 

    Arthur Road would be retained as a service road adjacent to a new road, which would have limited access.

    Why can’t freight be transported on rail?

    While rail can be a great solution for moving freight and commodities, it is inflexible and requires large volumes being moved at the same time, to and from the same place. It is also very expensive to build and maintain. The flexibility and accessibility of a road based freight network can be used by a wider range of smaller operators. 

    The State Government’s Transport portfolio agencies (Main Roads, Public Transport Authority and the Department of Transport) collaborate with their stakeholders and each other to provide a broad range of transport solutions across the state.

    What has changed that has influenced the outcomes of this planning study?

    Since 2015, there has been:

    • A contraction of the mining industry and associated infrastructure investment.
    • Increased interest in extension of RAV10 network along the North West Coastal Highway and Brand Highway between Carnarvon and Muchea. 
    • Updated road design and access control standards. 

    I provided feedback as part of this planning study in 2015. How have you considered the comments I made, and have they been taken into account?

    All feedback received in 2015 was reviewed and considered carefully to help identify this single preferred corridor. In defining the preferred corridor, changes have been made to mitigate impacts as much as possible. We will continue to work closely with affected property owners and stakeholders in the next phase of the planning to define the route and further mitigate individual impacts.

    The following table summarises the key issues raised during previous consultation and explains how these have been considered as part of our current planning work. 

    Issue raised during consultation

    How we have addressed or considered this in determining our preferred corridor

    What we will do in the next planning phase

    Impact on homes and properties

    Minimised impacts on land holdings by following lot boundaries, where possible

    Further consultation with affected landowners to mitigate individual impacts and address any access issues

    Impact on farming properties

    Considered the best way to avoid severance of farming properties 

    Further consultation with affected landowners, where impacts cannot be avoided 

    Heritage considerations, including Aboriginal and European

    Avoided known Aboriginal sites

    Avoided impacts to local and state heritage-listed properties in the Walkaway and Dongara areas

    Relevant Aboriginal groups will be notified of the proposed corridor and engaged

    Safety at Walkaway Nangetty Road intersection 

    Shifted the proposed alignment west to increase the distance between the hill and the intersection

    Further engagement with stakeholders to finalise the most appropriate solution 

    Use Geraldton – Walkaway instead of Arthur Road as part of the southern section

    Considered alternatives but none were viable. Geraldton-Walkaway Road is highly constrained by services, utilities, rail and access points 

    Continue to mitigate impacts from the Arthur Road alignment

    Flooding on Arthur Road 

    Noted for further investigation 

    Consider as part of future planning and design work and develop a comprehensive drainage strategy

    Main Roads should prioritise the Geraldton North-South Highway (GNSH) instead of planning for a new road corridor

    The GNSH does not address the main strategic objective of the proposed Dongara-Geraldton-Northampton Route. In particular, our aim is to provide a route that removes heavy vehicles from town centres 

    No further action as part of this study, however Main Roads will continue to investigate suitable upgrades to the network in the built up area

    A route that bypasses town centres may have economic impacts on the region

    These concerns are understood and acknowledged. Intersection treatments and signage can be considered during any future design phase that will continue to direct tourist and local traffic via the town centres, while keeping heavy vehicles on the designated route.

    Work closely with stakeholders to address concerns, while balancing these with the objective of delivering a safe and efficient route suitable for heavy vehicles 

    Inclusion of cycling infrastructure and truck rest bays

    Noted for further investigation

    Engage with stakeholders to determine needs and requirements for consideration in further planning

    Will you keep the community and stakeholder updated?

    Yes. The best way to stay informed is to provide your feedback via My Say Transport and register for future email updates.

    Can I still develop/subdivide my land if it is affected by the final road corridor?

    If your property is in or close to the proposed corridor, we recommend that you contact Main Roads before submitting any formal development plans. This will help you identify and address any considerations as early as possible in your planning process.

    The relevant planning authority, such as your local government authority, will also contact us as part of any planning assessment if they believe there may be implications for the future road corridor or your development proposal.