Flood-proof $14.3m ring road opened

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

There was a hint of the good old days for State De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Bill Marmion as he and Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pastoral Ken Bas­ton flew to Onslow last week to cut the rib­bon for the com­pleted $14.3 mil­lion flood­proof ring road.

The raised road means ac­cess from the air­port to town will no longer be af­fected by heavy rain.

The main en­trance to town has also been moved. Most driv­ers en­ter­ing town will now go via a scenic route past the salt op­er­a­tions, with ocean views in­stead of driv­ing by the un­sightly light in­dus­trial area.

Mr Marmion, a for­mer civil en­gi­neer, praised the qual­ity of the road dur­ing his speech at the rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony.

“Be­ing a for­mer road en­gi­neer I must say it has been built to a very high stan­dard. The qual­ity is fan­tas­tic,” he said.

“(It is) ba­si­cally a flood-free road link­ing the air­port, which is im­por­tant be­cause at least if you have a mas­sive flood or cy­clone around here you will be able to land a plane on the airstrip and ser­vice the town.

“In the cur­rent cli­mate, tim­ing is ev­ery­thing. The project may not have gone ahead if there was a de­lay in get­ting ap­provals from the State Gov­ern­ment.”

Trans­port Min­is­ter Dean Nalder said flood­ing over the old road had ham­pered emer­gency ser­vices and evac­u­a­tions in the past.

Shire of Ash­bur­ton Pres­i­dent Kerry White said the road would im­prove safety for Onslow.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful-look­ing road and very nice to drive on, so I’m very happy,” she said.

“You could al­ways get through (in floods) but you needed a four­wheel-drive.

“For the fu­ture of Onslow, hope­fully we can open up some land around it when our new plan­ning strat­egy comes out.”

Mrs White said the res­i­dents should be thanked for putting up with the con­struc­tion of the road.

Mr Marmion said the works were funded by the Chevron-op­er­a­tion Wheat­stone project.

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