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Sat June 19 2021

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Australian government-industry partnership targets road safety

1 Dec 20 The Australian and Western Australian governments have joined forces with minerals company BHP to improve safety at three key rail crossings in the Pilbara region.

BHP will be contributing over AU$45m (£25m) towards the work, which includes construction of two new 'road-over-rail' bridges, realignment of two major intersections and the construction of two new roundabouts, as well as removing three places where there are level crossings.

Western Australian minister for transport and planning Rita Saffioti said the projects would remove road and rail conflicts at three major rail crossings in the Pilbara. "Upgrades to these crossings will improve safety for road and rail users, increase efficiency and reduce travel times while also supporting local jobs," she said. “This is a fantastic example of industry and government working together and it complements the $100 million we are spending every month on major transport infrastructure works in regional Western Australia.”

The first of the key projects involves construction of a new 28-metre-long road-over-rail bridge, separating road and rail traffic at Nelson Point main line level crossing on Great Northern Highway in Port Hedland. The project cost is estimated at AU$36m and is funded by the Australian Government (AU$18.2m), WA Government (AU$4.54m) and BHP (AU$13.26m).

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Construction of a second bridge over BHP's rail line to the south at Buttweld Road will also be undertaken and funded by BHP.

To complement the works, BHP has provided further funding to upgrade two intersections on Powell road to enable the closure of the remaining at-grade BHP rail crossing on Powell Road.

BHP's general manager for rail operations Warren Wellbeloved said BHP was pleased to contribute towards the rail crossing project at Great Northern Highway and fully fund the removal of the level crossing at Powell Road and a new road-over-rail bridge at the Buttweld Road rail crossing. "BHP's total contributions will be in excess of $45 million, an investment that will deliver local jobs in the construction phase and lasting benefits to the Hedland community from a safety and a convenience perspective," he said.

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