Plan for new sealed road to link Kar­ratha, Tom Price

Pilbara News - - NEWS - Tom Zaun­mayr

The State Govern­ment will blaze a new trail be­side the ex­ist­ing un­sealed road when it gets around to seal­ing the fi­nal stages of the Kar­ratha to Tom Price Road.

The pro­posed fi­nal stage of the seal will run south of the sec­ond Rio Tinto rail cross­ing on a new align­ment, rather than seal­ing the ex­ist­ing road through to Wit­tenoom or the Rio Tinto ac­cess road.

Main Roads spokesman Dean Roberts said the new align­ment would be within the es­ti­mated $325 mil­lion bud­get. “The ex­ist­ing rail ac­cess road is owned and op­er­ated by Rio Tinto within its rail­way re­serve for the pri­mary pur­pose of sup­port­ing its rail op­er­a­tions,” he said.

“The rail main­te­nance track along along­side the Rio Tinto rail is un­suit­able as a public road align­ment ge­o­met­ri­cally and in terms of its road safety, par­tic­u­larly due to the prox­im­ity of the rail to the road.”

North West Cen­tral MLA Vince Cata­nia said it would make more sense to seal the ex­ist­ing road.

“Surely it is cheaper and bet­ter to go along the Rio Tinto ac­cess road,” he said.

“We have seen a rail­way line go down a busy free­way in Perth. What is the dif­fer­ence here?” Mr Cata­nia said the two ex­ist­ing roads be­tween Kar­ratha and Tom Price would be cheaper to seal.

Con­cerns have also been raised the State Govern­ment has been all talk and no ac­tion when it comes to putting the project on a pri­or­ity list for Fed­eral Govern­ment fund­ing.

Mr Roberts said those con­cerns were un­founded.

Stage three of the project, which will seal 50km of the Roe­bourne to Wit­tenoom Road up to the sec­ond Rio Tinto rail cross­ing, is slated to be­gin next month.

Vince Cata­nia

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