CLIENT: Main Roads WA
CONTRACT TYPE: Construct Only
VALUE: AUD$3.6 Million

Highway Construction upgraded this key intersection between the Great Northern Highway and North West Coastal Highway to enable free-flowing movement for trucks on a major freight route.

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The Great Northern Highway (GNH) and North West Coastal Highway (NWCH) are the two main north-south routes between Perth and the north of Western Australia. Both routes carry heavy vehicle traffic with the GNH typically carrying heavy vehicle traffic between Newman and Port Hedland; and the NWCH coastal route carries tourist traffic and lighter freight vehicles between Karratha and Port Hedland.

Due to the mining boom, Port Hedland has also taken its place as the busiest port (by tonnage) in the World, and as the iron ore juniors are without access to a mine-to-port rail link, they use the road network as their primary transportation route.

The configuration where the GNH intersected with the NWCH was a simple t-junction. This meant heavy vehicle traffic travelling north was required to stop before making a right turn from the GNH onto the NWCH to proceed northwards to Port Hedland.

As a result, the time taken for heavy vehicle road traffic to travel between the port was having significant cost considerations for the iron ore juniors and the wider WA freight industry, with seemingly minor delays at intersections adding up to millions of dollars per year.

Works to upgrade this intersection were commissioned to eliminate this old t-junction to allow heavy vehicle traffic a free-flow of movement between Newman and Port Hedland. The NWCH was then realigned to form a t-junction.

The majority of truck movements, up to a super quad length of 60 metres now enjoy the priority movement through this modified intersection.