Dual-lane fix for highway
Capes residents are one step closer to dual lanes between Busselton and Capel after yesterday’s State Budget included $4 million to start forward works on a stretch of the highway next month.
The allocation answers long-standing calls for the notorious stretch of Bussell Highway to be one continuous dual carriageway. It also comes as the road last month topped RAC’s riskiest roads list for the second year running.
Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said while it was only a small part of the $80 million in total needed to upgrade the 17km section of the highway between Busselton and Capel, it was a step in the right direction.
“I welcome this announcement and see it as a win for the community that has campaigned so hard to make this notoriously dangerous section of the highway safer,” she said.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the Government had identified savings from the Bunbury Outer Ring Road project, which is still in its planning stages.
The plan proposes to roll the Bussell Highway dual carriageway project into the ring road project and the Government will dip into Main Roads’ minor works budget to start work next month.
“The McGowan Government has consistently called for Commonwealth funding towards this important project . . . we are getting on with the job and will be optimistically working with the next Federal Government to allow the project to be rolled into the wider Bunbury Outer Ring Road project,” Ms Saffioti told the Times.
Stage one will include a 5km stretch from where the dual lanes end in Capel to Hutton Road in Ludlow.
City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley welcomed news the start of preparatory works had reportedly been funded in the State Budget as part of the broader Bunbury Outer Ring Road project.
“This important preliminary funding recognises the future impact of growing traffic in the region, especially from the Bunbury Outer Ring Road,” he said. “We also look forward to seeing funding included in forward estimates for the dualling of the 13km of highway between Capel to Busselton which is a very dangerous traffic choke point.”
Shire of Capel President Murray Scott said he wanted the whole stretch funded.
“I’m not a road engineer, but I feel with $4 million you are going to be battling to get much done,” he said.
“I suppose it is a start, but it is just going to transfer the problem elsewhere.”
Ms Saffioti said the Government had listened to the issues raised by the community.
“We can’t fix every problem straight away but we are trying to get a program to fix bottlenecks and in particular this is one that is often raised,” she said.
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