WHEN Northlink opened in April, Lower Chittering resident Denise Warner was looking forward to an easier commute, however that very commute has left her with extensive damage to her car.
She’s not the only resident to report damage caused by the $1.02 billion project, with Facebook message boards overflowing with reports of cracked windscreens and chipped paintjobs caused by the section of the road between Muchea and Ellenbrook flicking up chips of stone.
Ms Warner has lived in Lower Chittering for 13 years and, working in disability support, made the painstaking trip to Morley on an almost daily basis.
When Northlink officially opened on April 23 she was looking forward to shaving 20 minutes off what was a considerable commute.
“I got on there and I started driving, about a week after it opened.
“As soon as I picked up speed rocks started flying everywhere.
“I guess as it got more popular, more cars, more trucks, more rocks just started flying.
“A truck passed me last Sunday and there’s where all the damage came from, my car’s only three months old and the paint is chipped right across the front of the car, and you can see the fine crack running up my windscreen.
“I had to pull over because there were rocks flying everywhere.
“The crack wasn’t that big initially but on the way back, I could see it was getting bigger.
“I called a repairer, and they told me they’d need to replace the whole windscreen and they also advised me not to drive it, because if another stone flicks up, the windscreen is likely to shatter.
“That means I can’t get to work unless I hire a car.”
The section of Northlink between Ellenbrook and Muchea is chipseal, much like a regional road, but it would seem the seal has not come together as planned.
While Ms Warner is able to claim the damages through Main Roads WA (MRWA), the out-of-pocket expenses are hurting.
“The windscreen is $300, without including the sensors, and I’m not sure how much the paint damage will cost me before I put in a claim to Main Roads.
“In the 13 years I’ve lived out here, I’ve never had a cracked windscreen, not even with all the trucks on Great Northern.
“This has happened to friends and neighbours as well, and we haven’t had an explanation from anyone.”
Main Roads spokesman Dean Roberts said that 238 potential damage claims relating to Northlink have been lodged in the last 20 days.
“While the road surface has now stabilised, the project team will continue to sweep the road as required with ‘Loose Stones’ signage to caution road users,” he said.
“We encourage all road users to leave a safe distance between their vehicles and others on the road.”
He also confirmed the conrtactor in charge of the construction of that section of Northlink, CPB contractors, would carry the cost of any successful claim made against Northlink.
Have you had a bad experience on Northlink? Let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org