Problem to be addressed
The Great Northern Highway forms part of the National Land Transport Network and provides a strategic freight link between the Perth metropolitan area and Western Australia’s north-west.
The Great Northern Highway services Western Australia’s growing mining, agricultural and northern tourist industries, carrying a mix of passenger and freight traffic.
However, triple road trains (53.5 m trucks) travelling on the Great Northern Highway are restricted from the section of the highway between Wubin (276 km north of Perth) and Muchea (50 km north of Perth). These restrictions are caused by road alignments and gradient conditions that are unsuitable for triple road trains.
As a result, drivers are required to stop at Wubin to decouple and reconfigure their vehicles into smaller truck and trailer configurations, such as double road trains (or smaller) for this section of the highway.
This operation decreases freight productivity and efficiency since more truck trips are then required to deliver the same freight task, leading to an overall net increase in transport costs per unit of freight transported.
The proposed Bindoon Bypass would reduce vehicle kilometres travelled by enabling triple road trains to travel along the entire length of the corridor, thereby avoiding the need to stop and decouple at Wubin.
The proposed project area is 66 km in total length, including construction of 61.6 km of new highway and 4.4 km of improvements to the existing highway.
There is strategic merit for the project given the importance of the Great Northern Highway as a freight link between Perth’s metropolitan area and Australia’s north-west.
Economic, social and environmental value
The majority of the project’s benefits are vehicle operating cost savings. There will also be travel-time savings, reduced environmental emissions and safety benefits through the removal of trucks from Bindoon town centre.
The proponent’s stated benefit-cost ratio is 3.4, with a net present value of $462 million (7% real discount rate).
Capital cost of initiative as stated by proponent (2018 business case) $275 million (nominal, undiscounted) | Australian Government contribution $220 million | State government contribution $55 million | Private sector contribution