Buswell pushes for $30m truck route

Western Australia flags $30 million project to create new route to improve truck safety

December 13, 2012

Western Australia has flagged a $30 million project to improve safety for truck drivers and reduce the costs of operators travelling through Ravensthorpe along the South Coast Highway.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell has announced a government plan to begin building a heavy vehicle diversion route at Ravensthorpe in 2013-14. He has not detailed a completion date, only saying work will continue into 2014-15.

He says the 3.5km route will bypass around and to the north of Ravensthorpe. There will also be some minor upgrades along Ravensthorpe’s main street.

The Western Australian Government says between 20 and 50 heavy vehicles per year either stall or lose traction attempting to climb the hill on Ravensthorpe’s main thoroughfare. Most of the incline has a 9 percent gradient that increases to 11 percent.

"Currently, heavy vehicles have to travel through the centre of Ravensthorpe along South Coast Highway and up a 150-metre long, steep hill where many are stalling and requiring tow trucks to remove them from the hill," Buswell says.

"There is anecdotal evidence that up to 50 heavy vehicles a year either stall or lose traction while attempting the incline. Trucks losing traction could roll out of control, posing a risk to businesses, which line the highway through the townsite, pedestrians and other road users."

Buswell says there is also considerable risk involved in recovering a stranded truck from a hill, with numerous tow chains snapping in the process.

"Construction of this truck route will improve safety for heavy vehicle operators as well as all other road users while bringing down costs for the heavy transport industry," he says.

The South Coast Highway is the main route between the Goldfields-Esperance region and the Great Southern and links the towns of Albany, Ravensthorpe and Esperance.

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