Shire upgrades windy road

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianMidwest Times

Dandaragan Shire has spent $1 million upgrading Jurien East Road to accommodate trucks carting agricultural lime.

Shire chief executive Tony Nottle said the local government completed the upgrade to 7km of road in 2016-17 and a second 4km stretch was due to be upgraded this current financial year for $700,000.

“Most of the freight route from the lime quarry in Sandy Cape is currently no wider than 6.5m,” he said.

“The job of broadening and sealing it to a width of 8m has already begun, led by a Shire crew assisted by local contractors.”

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Mr Nottle said lime sand was a vital ingredient of Wheatbelt farming when regularly applied to acid soils but getting tonnages to farmers had put a strain on the road.

“The Jurien East Road project will allow heavy vehicles to pass each other more safely when carting to and from properties in Dandaragan and other shires of Dalwallinu, Wongan-Ballidu, Moora and Coorow,” he said.

“Shire of Dandaragan wants the upgrade to be part of a new secondary freight route through the Wheatbelt’s 40 shires.”

Mr Nottle said Dandaragan Shire was hoping for Federal funding to complete the project.

He said Councillor Wayne Gibson was working to secure more through the Wheatbelt North Regional Road Group, and winning support from the Wheatbelt South Regional Road Group, Main Roads WA and WA Local Government Association.

“We’ve got all the right people onside in the bush — we just need for it to come together,” Cr Gibson said.

Dandaragan Shire engineer Garrick Yandle said widening the road made passing safer.

“Jurien East Road is quite hilly and windy, it’s got a narrow seal and you’ve got blind corners,” he said.

“It’s a school bus route and commonly used by tourists.”

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