South Coast Highway improvements: Albany to Esperance

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Connectivity between Albany and Esperance
Priority Initiative
South Coast, WA
Small towns, rural communities and remote areas
Efficient Markets
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Medium term (5-10 years)
Proposed By
WA Government
Date added to the IPL
26 February 2020


The South Coast Highway is a strategic freight and tourism route in the South West region of Western Australia, servicing the ports of Albany and Esperance and connecting regional towns.

However, the age, design and condition of the highway is causing significant safety issues, and high operating and maintenance costs.

Around 74% (or 348 km) of the South Coast Highway consists of pavement that is more than 40 years old. In addition, eight bridges along the highway are timber, with some being almost 60 years old.

Continued decline in road condition, with population growth and increases in freight volumes and tourism activity, will further exacerbate the effects of these problems in the future.

Proposed initiative

The initiative involves upgrades to the South Coast Highway between Albany and Esperance. This could include:

  • realigning and widening of some sections of the highway

  • sealing road shoulders

  • constructing passing lanes

  • restoring pavement or upgrading to heavy-duty pavement

  • upgrading or replacing timber bridges.

Next steps

Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).