Bridge falls below safe standards
Bridge falls below safe standards

An alliance of road safety and heavy haulage officials fear it is only a matter of time before there is another serious accident at the Greenough River Bridge.

The Mid West Industry and Road Safety Alliance has written to Transport Minister Troy Buswell demanding the State Government shore up $15 million to make the bridge safe.

The alliance has told the minister it regards the structure as the “highest priority” road safety project in Greater Geraldton.

Carnarvon man Justin Dyson died in May this year, when the car he was a passenger in struck the bridge — the eighth crash at the site in five years.

The alliance says the two-lane bridge, 6.2m wide between kerbs,falls well short of minimum highway standards of 8.2m.

A standard road train is 2.5 metres wide — leaving 1.2m clearance between passing trucks.

Oversized loads can exceed 2.5m. The alliance warns an increase in heavy and over-sized vehicle traffic on Brand Hwy, increased the chance of more accidents at the site.

"This, added in combination to the narrow bridge, curved approaches and a dip in road levels in the floodway increases the risk of future serious crashes occurring at this location,” the alliance said.

One manager of a Mid West haulage company, whose vehicles use the bridge 100 times per day, said it was a concern among truck drivers.

“Because it kicks out, you have to fight with the geometry of the road at the bridge,” he said.

“It’s been an issue for too long.” WA Police, Mid West haulage companies, the office of Road Safety and 16 of the region’s shires form the MWIRSA, set-up in March.

Alliance chairman Paul Matthews said the Mid West’s resources boom had increased heavy vehicle traffic by 150 per cent on the Mt Magnet to Mullewa Rd.

He said traffic was up 700 per cent on the Mullewa to Wubin Rd.

Mr Buswell said the alliance’s concerns had been noted.

“The concerns are certainly appreciated and I acknowledge the need to replace the existing bridge,” he said.

He said it remained a “high priority” for works, to be considered among a Statewide bridge replacement program.

“Main Roads is proceeding with the design of a replacement bridge and associated roadworks so that an accurate cost estimate can be developed for funding consideration,” Mr Buswell said.

“Funding for this important project will be considered as part of the next Budget development process.”

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