A CONTRACT valued at $24 million has been awarded for upgrade works on part of the Great Eastern Highway – an important freight route in Western Australia.

The highway spans 590 kilometres and connects Perth with Kalgoorlie.

The contract covers an 11-kilometre section of road between Southern Cross and Ghooli, a town southwest of Kalgoorlie.

It is part of the broader $250-million Great Eastern Highway Upgrade program, which aims to improve sections of the highway through the Wheatbelt and Goldfields-Esperance regions.

Work on the section between Southern Cross and Ghooli includes realignment, reconstruction, overlay and widening of the highway to 11 metres.

And upgrades slated for the overall project include overtaking lanes, intersection improvements, bridge replacement, road widening and shoulder sealing.

“The Australian government is committed to ensuring a reliable, safe and efficient transport link between Perth and Kalgoorlie, and this project is an important step in that journey,” federal minister for infrastructure and transport Catherine King said.

“We’re proud to be partnering with the Western Australian government to improve the Great Eastern Highway, section by section, to ensure safe and reliable transport access for residents, freight movements and tourists.”

WA transport minister Rita Saffioti described the Great Eastern Highway as a vital freight link for Western Australia.

“In the past few years, we’ve also upgraded 193 kilometres of Great Eastern Highway in the Wheatbelt including shoulder sealing between Northam and Walgoolan, upgrades between Carrabin and Bodallin and replaced four bridges in Coates Gully in the Shire of Northam,” she said.

“We’ve also recently opened the new Walgoolan Bridge, which is another important achievement.

“Our government remains committed to upgrading and improving the regional road network, for all road users.”

Elsewhere on the Great Eastern Highway, work is underway to widen sections of road around Bodallin and Moorine Rock Bridge and upgrade intersections on Parker Range Road.

The staged upgrade program is expected to continue along the highway until 2028.