City supports bypass staged approach

Published on Tuesday, 1 June 2021 at 4:55:45 PM

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn has supported Minister Saffioti’s recent comments about the possibility of the proposed Dongara-Geraldton-Northampton being broken up into stages.

With more heavy haulage set for Geraldton after the announcement of Strandline Resources’ mineral sands project, Mayor Van Styn said it was about time the Northampton bypass was prioritised.

However the now acknowledged need to bypass Northampton demonstrates an urgent need to bypass the centre of Geraldton too.

The Oakajee to Narngulu Infrastructure Corridor (ONIC) should also prioritise to get heavy haulage, which is typically travelling into Geraldton, out of inner city residential areas.

It is noted this is a long way off being built, being reliant on Oakajee and will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

There is a solution that has been planned by Main Roads for 20 years or more and has the full support of Council; The Geraldton North South Highway (inner bypass).

With most land already reserved, and able to be built for a fraction of the cost, this presents a real solution in the short term to remove the expected increase traffic through the centre of Geraldton.

“It is important we put an emphasis on construction on the Northampton bypass as well as the inner bypass – the southern section of any future bypass is irrelevant at this point,” Mayor Van Styn said.

“Strandline’s new project will see an increase in heavy haulage going through the centre of Geraldton, and the fact Northampton needs to be bypassed - means Geraldton should also have heavy traffic removed.

“The inner bypass would allow these trucks to be diverted out of urban Geraldton.”

Construction of the Northampton bypass has long been supported by the City, as has the construction of the ONIC.

“With all the talk about renewable hydrogen the ONIC must be made a priority as the total lack of infrastructure at the Oakajee Industrial Estate is forcing big businesses to look elsewhere,” Mayor Van Styn added.

“But the ONIC does not negate the need for the inner bypass.

“We need to look at the future of Geraldton and what needs to be implemented soon to not only ensure and improve safety when it comes to road haulage, but ensure smart and realistic routes for business to and from Geraldton and further north.”

Main Roads’ Dongara-Geraldton-Northampton bypass has been a topical project for some time, with concern from many rural property owners about the preferred route which was revealed in 2020.

Council were asked to comment on the proposed route in February this year with a consensus that there were several key issues with the draft alignment, resulting in continued unwavering support for the inner bypass.

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