At this year’s Expo we commenced consultation around some proposed changes to heavy vehicle access to CBH and surrounds. We are seeking community feedback on this matter to help to inform next steps.
What is proposed?
Together with CBH and Main Roads WA (MRWA) we are looking at ways that we can improve heavy vehicle
access to the CBH site. This may require realignment of both the Midlands Road and Mingenew-Morawa Road to improve accessibility.
Why is this being explored?
CBH is currently working on longer-term plans for the site, and vehicle access will be a key part of that if they are to continue to operate effectively. There have already been some issues identified:
- The Mingenew-Morawa Road railway crossing is not suitable for trucks over RAV4 (27.5m in length) as there is not sufficient space for trucks to safely park and wait for trains to pass (‘stacking distance’).
- When the train is being loaded, at times the Boolinda Street access to CBH can be blocked, which makes access to the site problematic.
- Concerns have been raised about heavy vehicle traffic through the town centre of Mingenew.
With CBH considering the long-term layout of the site, now is an appropriate time to examine whether the infrastructure that is in place is sufficient to support that site effectively, given the ongoing growth in the size of vehicles which service it. The Mingenew CBH facility is the largest onshore grain receival facility in the southern hemisphere and, as smaller grain bins in the region close, it is likely to grow in both size and importance. Whilst harvest access to CBH is a key consideration, the heavy vehicle access issues also affect other haulage operations, including cartage of lime sands, fertiliser and livestock.
What could change?
We are still very early in the process – working off a ‘mud map’, not engineering drawings – but one proposed solution includes:
- Closing Boolinda Street, in favour of a realigned Midlands Rd, hopefully removing potential issues with trains blocking access.
- Creating a sweeping bend from Midlands Road, heading east up to Mingenew-Morawa Rd to try to address stacking distance issues.
- Making Midlands Rd – Eleanor St – Mingenew-Morawa Rd the primary heavy vehicle route.
- Adding heavy vehicle parking on the old iron ore pad (next to the Railway Station) to allow heavy vehicles to safely park and for drivers and operators to easily access the main street (via a pedestrian crossing near the railway station).
Will heavy vehicles still be able to access the main street?
Yes. The intent isn’t to prevent heavy vehicles from accessing the main street, but to provide them with more efficient access to CBH.
The current proposed plan also features a designated heavy vehicle parking bay near the Railway Station to provide better parking options for heavy vehicles in town. As we experience increasing numbers of caravans and other traffic in town, it is hoped this will take some of the parking load during busy periods.
When will this happen?
This is a medium- to long-term project which will require significant external funding to complete. As such we anticipate several years of planning and obtaining funding before any physical roadworks would take place. As we are looking at
a long-term solution for the town, it’s appropriate that it be given due consideration and planning.
What’s the next step?
We want to get feedback from the community. This is a long-term project and we want to make sure that it provides the best solution reasonably available. We also have some funding committed from the Shire and CBH to undertake an initial design analysis to see if our mud map idea would meet appropriate engineering and road standard specifications.
How can I provide feedback?
We want to hear from you – and it’s easy! We have a digital or paper-based survey that you can complete. The online survey is here, or you can download a hard copy here. Alternatively, contact the Shire directly.
We are particularly interested in:
- Positive and negative impacts that people can identify.
- Concerns that you believe the design should address (e.g. parking, public safety, speed limits).
- Whether you believe you have a design which might better address the issues identified.
How can I find out more?
Contact the Shire, or see the Resources section of our website.