Five new passing lanes for Toodyay
Main Roads WA map of proposed roadworks.
By Michael Sinclair-Jones
FIVE new passing lanes near Toodyay will be added to some of the most dangerous stretches of Toodyay Road, with major road-widening already underway between Harper Brook and Coorinja Winery.
Three new westbound and two eastbound overtaking and climbing lanes for heavy trucks are planned between Morangup Road and Toodyay-Clackline Road.
Plans also include seven upgraded intersections between Racecourse Road and Fernie Road, and 27km of road realignment, vegetation clearing and widening.
Toodyay Road will be realigned and a new structure built where it crosses Jimperding Brook.
A Main Roads WA spokesperson said Federal Government funding had been secured for a one-kilometre section which is currently being widened about 3km from Toodyay.
Further land clearing and earthworks are underway on a 5km stretch between Racecourse Road and the Clackline-Toodyay Road.
Current roadworks with intermittent lane closures will continue until next month.
The spokesperson said the timing of remaining works would depend on the State Budget, which is due in May.
WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt recently forecast a Budget surprise surplus of $1.02 billion, although much of that is expected to be spent on the State Government’s Metronet rail expansion project in Perth.
Main Roads WA said Toodyay Road was a “key connection between Perth, Toodyay and surrounding communities” and carried agricultural, extractive industries (gravel, sand and clay), waste and tourism traffic.
It quoted a 2015 WA Government review which found that Toodyay Road had the “highest crash density” in the Wheatbelt.
Main Roads WA was currently buying land, removing fences and arranging for utilities to be shifted to make way for the road upgrade.
Road widening this month between Harper Brook and Coorinja Winery.
MAIN Roads WA said there had been no public objections to vegetation clearing permits which were approved by Federal and State agencies.
Up to 55ha of roadside vegetation will need to be cleared for the entire project.
To offset this, 196ha of “prime wandoo woodland” next to the Clackline Nature Reserve “will be conserved in perpetuity” and 188 artificial nesting hollows for black cockatoos installed.
Shire of Toodyay Reserve Management Officer Greg Warburton said the Toodyay Naturalists’ Club supported the plan.
“The offset significantly expands an existing nature reserve,” a Main Roads WA January 2019 project update quoted Mr Warburton as saying.
“The Main Roads team are to be congratulated for obtaining this outstanding result which has added valuable habitat to our precious conservation estate,” Mr Warburton said.