Safer roads on the horizon

By David Kavanagh | posted on February 7, 2020

THE second stage of a roadwork project targeting a “high-risk” section of Albany Highway is set to begin later this month.

An 11km stretch of the route running from Kojonup to Balgarup Road will be widened to 11 metres with two metre sealed shoulders.

It will also see safety barriers, pavement markings, audible edge lines and other minor intersection treatments implemented

The $3.85m expansion comes as part of a larger Regional Road Safety Program targeting 60km of road across seven regional areas in the state at risk of single vehicle run-off crashes.

Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said these types of accidents were “one of the biggest causes of fatal and serious injury crashes in regional Western Australia.”

“We’re seeing more and more crashes caused by simple errors of judgements or moments of inattention,” she said.

“Safety treatments like widening the road, installing safety barriers and sealing the shoulders will create a safer environment on those high-risk roads.”

A spokesperson for Transport Minister Rita Saffioti told the Weekender that crash density on the targeted section of Albany Highway was “greater than other sections of the road network”.

“The predominant crash type on Albany Highway, outside the metropolitan area, is a single vehicle run-off road crash,” they said.

The Great Southern had 42 run-off road crashes resulting in at least one fatality between 2014 and 2019.

There were 241 general crashes on Albany Highway between Kojonup-Katanning Road and South Coast Highway near Albany in the five years to December 31, 2018.

Of these, six were fatal and 71 required hospital or medical treatment.

The stage two roadwork between Kojonup and Balgarup Road will build on clearing, earthwork and drainage improvements completed there in May last year.

Construction is expected to wrap up in June.