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Substandard Wickepin to Narrogin road creating daily dangers for commuters

John MearnsNarrogin Observer
Main Roads have fixed the damage pictured and attended to a number of shoves along the road between Wickepin and Narrogin since the Road Worriers article was published in the Narrogin Observer June 8, 2023, but community concern remains.
Camera IconMain Roads have fixed the damage pictured and attended to a number of shoves along the road between Wickepin and Narrogin since the Road Worriers article was published in the Narrogin Observer June 8, 2023, but community concern remains. Credit: Daniel Rooney

A recent lead article by Daniel Rooney titled Road Worriers in the Narrogin Observer was very apt and people in our region know well about the condition of roads here like the one we have to put up with from Wickepin to Narrogin.

What this article failed to highlight is what everyday commuters between the two towns have to cope with either travelling to work or shopping.

In raising this with Dan, I appreciate his efforts over the past few weeks in contacting the major players and arriving at a consensus that the road is in a poor state and bandaid solutions are what we are faced with on a daily basis.

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Speaking with some locals asking how they deal with having to either sit behind swaying heavy haulage vehicles for the 38km trip, or attempting to pass one, solutions are divided. Some just sit behind, with others finding a spot to gun it to pass.

This road was not constructed to act as a haul road, which is what it is rapidly becoming.

Main Roads feels that a 10-fold increase in heavy vehicle movements over the next two years is likely underestimated.

Main Roads, following my suggestion, have agreed to pass to their engineering section to see if as a stop-gap measure, while awaiting decisions Dan’s article mentions, passing lanes can be installed.

That would at least save, especially on wet days, being stuck behind trucks for the duration of the journey.

While our previous Premier has used revenue from this State’s cash cow royalties, iron ore, to pour billions into rail and road, especially in the metro area, eventually WA will see a return to its reliance on what comes off the land.

Neglecting us in the bush is not a smart, long-term thing.

John Mearns is a resident of Wickepin.

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