In collaboration with Main Roads Western Australia (Main Roads WA) we've been successfully delivering road improvement and maintenance works to the Pilbara community for more than six years. 

Through an Integrated Service Agreement (ISA), we partner with our client to deliver road network operations, operational asset management, maintenance management and delivery, and capital works. 

We maintain 2,968km of main roads and highways that are used by heavy vehicles to cross the Pilbara region, a region representing 25% of the entire state of Western Australia. 

Working in collaboration with our client

ISAs are founded on relationship-based contracting principles. Our ISA with Main Roads WA has been developed to provide integrated operational asset management, network operations and road maintenance services. We learn from each other's practices and work collaboratively to deliver a range of services. 

The Main Roads WA ISA aims to: 

  • link the road network to communities
  • facilitate industrial, commercial and business development, enabling access to other modes of transport
  • contribute towards the economic advancement of the state and Australia. 

We're proud of the work we've achieved with Main Roads WA in providing safe and efficient access to the road network for all users and identifying opportunities for proactive capital works, operational asset management and maintenance delivery. 

Enhancing asset management capability

Working as an integrated team within Main Roads WA, we are closely involved in the development of asset management tools and systems, asset inventories collection and updates, and preparation of guidelines and procedures. 

Throughout the contract, we have standardised our asset maintenance practices and sought optimisation opportunities, including: 

  • using Asset Management tools in the planning and prioritisation of maintenance operation activities under constrained budget and funding allocations
  • delivering cost effective maintenance treatment recommendations using destructive and non"destructive geotechnical testing and data
  • assisting in annual pavement condition data survey, analysis and reporting
  • heavy involvement in the preparation of a Regional Asset Management Plan using International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) 55000 framework
  • monitoring and evaluating network condition status impacted by heavy vehicles and railway crossings
  • contributing ideas and suggestions for the prepartaion and delievery of Pilbara specific Ten-Year Network Delivery Plan. 

We take our responsibility as stewards of the network very seriously and it guides our asset management approach to ensure we act in the best interests of the client and the communities we serve.

Up to the challenge

To maintain the Pilbara region's complex road network, there are many challenges associated with its size, remoteness and climatic extremes, including:

  • limited supplier and subcontractor availability
  • high cost of contract mobilisation and accommodation
  • long distances between towns and services
  • poor telecommunications
  • accelerated deterioration of roads due to heavy vehicle traffic with 60m quad road trains carrying in excess of 160T from mine to port
  • weather extremes including cyclonic weather and associated flooding, and temperatures reaching up to 50°C.

Our vehicle tracking initiative is helping address many of the complexities associated with several of these challenges. Using cellular and satellite based tracking and alerts for vehicle rollover and speed as well as a duress alarm, the system has allowed us to optimise emergency management as well as prioritise worker safety. 

Engaging with the local community

Our collaboration extends beyond our client and we actively look at ways to connect with local contractors to ensure we have access to sufficient resources, particularly in times of emergency events.

We've engaged with local pastoralists to carry out unsealed road maintenance activities, and these relationships ensure further collaboration such as quick response times when we have emergencies like flooding. 

We also work closely with several Aboriginal contractors who provide services such as traffic management, rest area maintenance and sign maintenance. We support regional skills development and employment, ensuring recruitment is kept local where possible.  We have actively recruited from local communities in the area and have many Aboriginal employees within our maintenance crews.