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WA Govt to upgrade freight and tourist passage

Significant safety improvements including road widening to increase passing opportunities anticipated to drive greater freight efficiencies have been approved by the Western Australian Government for Indian Ocean Drive and Brand Highway as part of regional road maintenance.

The route long popular with agriculture and mining transporters and also tourists will receive more than $24 million for construction of two overtaking lanes, 19km of widening works and resealing, a heavy vehicle slow lane on Indian Ocean Drive and a concrete deck overlay works on the High River Bridge and Cockram Road near Gingin.

The Brand Highway links Perth with the port city of Geraldton, and is a key heavy vehicle route enabling service for agricultural and mineral resource industries, while Indian Ocean Drive offers a scenic route for tourists travelling to coastal towns including Cervantes, Jurien Bay and Port Denison.

More than $15m has already been spent on Indian Ocean Drive since 2018, following the release of the Government's Indian Ocean Drive Safety Review, which was initiated in 2017 in response to a series of serious and fatal crashes between Lancelin and Two Rocks.

Four new passing lanes between Seabird and Lancelin were officially opened to traffic in December 2018, while works to install wide centre line treatment along the length of the road from Yanchep to Lancelin, will continue through to 2020.

This treatment creates a greater distance between opposing traffic, providing additional reaction time if a driver unintentionally drifts across the centreline towards oncoming traffic.

The safety improvement works are funded by the Road Trauma Trust Account, Safer Roads, Royalties for Regions, State Blackspot and Main Roads maintenance funds.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said over $2 billion had been allocated in the 2019-20 State Budget for upgrades to regional roads.

"Over the next 12 months $24 million worth of safety upgrades will be undertaken on Indian Ocean Drive and Brand Highway," she said.

"These works will build on the previous safety improvements undertaken on Indian Ocean Drive, since 2018," said Saffioti.

"Both of these roads are important routes for our agricultural and mineral resource industries that also provide a scenic route for tourists travelling between our coastal towns."

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