The Government of Western Australia has initiated stage one of the Bussell Highway widening project.

Work was initiated by the government after a groundbreaking ceremony on 16 October for stage one of the Bussell Highway duplication project.

Western Australia Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino, along with other local members, were present at the ceremony.

The project has been jointly funded by the federal and state governments, for which both governments have announced funding of A$85m ($60.4m) in June.

As part of the project, a 17km road stretch between Bunbury and Busselton will be upgraded with new lanes, road improvements, and bridge construction.

The upgrade work will be executed in two stages, with the contract to execute stage one awarded to Raubex Construction.

Under this contract, Raubex Construction will be responsible for increasing the capacity and safety of the 17km section of Bussell Highway.

The first stage is expected to be completed by June next year.

The project is expected to reduce traffic congestion along Bussell Highway between Capel and north of Busselton.

In addition, the project is expected to reduce travel times significantly.

Stage two of the project between Hutton Road to Busselton includes road and bridge design, environmental approvals and service relocations.

In June, the Government of Western Australia secured federal funding to build a second carriageway on a section of the Bussell Highway.

The A$85m project is set to begin later this year and will be completed in two stages.