Situated 84 kilometers northeast of Perth, Bindoon is a small town in Western Australia known for its tight-knit community and rich natural resources. The town plays a significant role in the Chittering Valley’s fertile landscape and the Great Northern Highway provides a crucial transportation route connecting this resource-rich region to Perth.
The highway is instrumental in facilitating the movement of goods, people, and services, thereby promoting regional connectivity and economic growth.
To enhance freight productivity and safety, a new 64-kilometre link is under construction to divert traffic away from Bindoon. This $275 million project – jointly funded by the Australian government ($220 million) and the state government ($55 million) – emphasises sustainable infrastructure development and prioritises Aboriginal engagement.
The project involves the construction of new bridge and causeway structures over water bodies like the Brockman River and its tributaries, including Udumung Brook, and Lennard Brook. The focus is on minimising disruptions to existing water flow paths, preserving water quality, and ensuring the protection of wetlands within or near the development area.
Sustainable strategy to mitigate flooding
Culvert causeways, designed with precast concrete box culverts, are integral to the project, spanning minor watercourse crossings and the wetlands. National Precast Master Precaster MJB Industries is supplying the necessary culverts and pipes for the construction.
According to National Precast CEO Sarah Bachmann, the durable nature of these materials is essential amid Western Australia’s variable weather conditions, where any potential impact of heavy rainfall and occasional flooding events on road stability and functionality is overcome by proper water drainage.
Recognising the advantages of robust reinforced precast concrete, the primary contractor, Garli, collaborated with National Precast Master Precaster MJB Industries to procure box and pipe culverts designed by Main Roads. A total of 240 box culverts, measuring 2100 wide x 1800 high, were produced and supplied for the causeways. Additionally, 102 pipes with a diameter of 1800mm were supplied, configured for installation in a layout spanning 41m in length and six pipes wide.
Sustainability and community benefits
The Bindoon North project underscores the significance of sustainability in contemporary infrastructure development. The project not only incorporates advanced stormwater management systems to safeguard local waterways and uphold the natural ecosystem, but also embraces environmentally conscious practices. These practices involve leveraging offsite manufacturing advantages, utilising recycled materials, and implementing erosion control measures.
Specific measures have been implemented to safeguard and conserve crucial environmental elements, including flora, fauna, and delicate habitats. Through prioritising environmental considerations, the project seeks to achieve a harmonious balance between development and ecological sustainability, aiming to minimise its impact on the surrounding environment. Additionally, adherence to rigorous environmental regulations ensured that noise and dust levels are maintained at a minimum during the construction phase.
Similarly, the project has recognised the paramount importance of community engagement and consultation. Throughout the Bypass construction, stakeholders – encompassing local residents, businesses, and indigenous communities – have been actively consulted to address their needs and concerns. This collaborative approach aims to promote transparency and build trust, while ensuring that the final outcome aligns with the community’s aspirations.
The project places significant emphasis on Aboriginal engagement, achieving over 53 per cent Aboriginal employment to date. With Garli being an Aboriginal-owned and operated business, together with LendLease, the project has seen over 90 percent of its expenditure directed towards Aboriginal businesses. This commitment underscores the project’s dedication to fostering inclusivity, economic empowerment, and meaningful involvement of the indigenous community.
The Bindoon Bypass project serves as a model commitment to improving safety, efficiency, and connectivity while promoting economic growth, environmental sensitivity and community engagement. As Western Australia continues to grow, initiatives like the Bypass contribute to a robust and efficient transportation network that supports economic prosperity while respecting the environment and benefiting the local community for years to come.
Master Precaster: MJB Industries Pty Ltd
Client: Main Roads Western Australia
Head Contractor: Garli Pty Ltd