The Ripon Hills Road was officially opened in November 1999, to provide a new route through the remote east Pilbara.
Mining, pastoral, exploration, tourism and the transport industries have benefitted from the road which has been built through some of the most rugged terrain in Western Australia.
The 132 kilometre road connects Marble Bar Road with the Woodie-Telfer Road where the Woodie Woodie project produces high grade manganese ore .
While the first 40 kilometres of the project was through flat terrain, the rugged range, gorges and river country presented major engineering challenges, the most difficult being over a three kilometre stretch at Bulgarina Hill where steeply sided hills were separated by narrow, deeply incised valleys.
Materials for construction were sourced using Landsat imagery. 450,000 cubic metres of gravel was stockpiled for later use, followed by extensive rehabilitation of ground cover.
The Ripon Hills were named by Frank Gregory during his major North West Australia Exploring Expedition in 1861. They were named after the Marquis of Ripon, formerly Earl De Grey, who, as President of the Royal Geographical Society, took a lively interest in promoting Gregory’s expedition.
© Kim Epton 2017-2022
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