The community’s concern about the safety of Great Northern Highway near Wyndham has been heard, with the State Government announcing $3 million for improvements to the road.
A 5km section of the sealed road between Kununurra and Wyndham will be widened from 6.2m to 8m, with funding from the Government’s Safer Country Roads initiative.
The stretch is part of a 23km section known as the Wyndham spur, travelled by an average 670 vehicles a day last year.
It is also frequented by road trains between the Kimberley Metals Group Ridges iron ore mine and Wyndham Port, at 15-minute intervals.
Wyndham police and Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley previously expressed safety fears for motorists, due to its unsealed shoulders.
Shire president John Moulden said he had lobbied for upgrades to the road for months.
“I met with Transport Minister Troy Buswell and Mining and Pastoral MLC Ken Baston to discuss the condition of the road during their last visit to Kununurra in February of this year,” he said.
“The issues I raised included the construction of shoulder sealing and a passing lane due to increased usage of the highway since KMG started up”.
Wyndham police Sergeant Brad Warburton called for funding to upgrade the road, and said it was an accident waiting to happen.
He believed widening the road would save lives.
“It will be a great benefit and will hopefully prevent any incidents from occurring,” he said.
A Main Roads spokeswoman said the road would be widened over about three years, with works to start next year.
The spokeswoman said a completion date for Wyndham spur works had not been set as the need for additional improvements was still being explored.