MAIN Roads WA has defended delays on a safety upgrade of Great Eastern Highway that has put the hurt on Mundaring businesses and commuters.
Last week Echo News spoke to Mundaring businessman Bernie Heilers who said the safety upgrade, which has gone almost five months over schedule, was costing him around $30,000 a month in lost revenue.
A Main Roads WA spokeswoman said the delays were unavoidable but added stage one of the project would be delivered within budget.
“A nuber of complex unavoidable circumstances including unexpected ground conditions during the wet winter months and the relocation of ageing services infrastructure have slowed the progress of the project,” she said.
“$34 million has been jointly allocated by the Federal and State governments for Stage one and two of this project.
“The Stage 1 contract awarded to Downer was for $5.7 million and the work will be completed within this budget.”
However in a response that will do nothing for Mr Heilers, who said a Main Roads WA representative told him to take them to court when he inquired about possible compensation.
“No consideration will be given to the provision of financial compensation to businesses alleging loss of profit due to the impact of roadworks,” the spokeswoman said.
“In the event that a business chooses to pursue a claim for alleged loss of profit as a result of roadworks, the matter will be treated as a public liability claim and will be referred to either Main Roads’ or our Contractors’ insurers.
“It is recommended that independent legal advice be sought as soon as possible in this instance.”
The spokewoman also said that pre-construction activities for stage two of the project, a 5.2 kilometre stretch of road between Bilgoman Road and Kintore Road, had been bought forward, with pre-construction activities commencing before next winter, with the expected completion date in mid-2019.
On Thursday morning, Mr Heilers said two lanes of traffic were still closed on either side of Great Eastern Highway from Coppin Road to Mundaring.
Main Roads WA told Echo News the roadworks would be completed by the end of the week, however they have told other media outlets the expected end date would be at the end of November.