South West residents have been invited to have their say on new designs aiming to better protect fauna and help improve community connectivity for a controversial section of the $852 million Bunbury Outer Ring Road project. The BORR will see a 27km highway built to link the Forrest and Bussell routes as part of the biggest infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in the South West. It aims to provide a different route around Bunbury to separate local and freight traffic, reduce congestion and support social and economic growth. However, the proposed route for the southern section has proved a contentious issue among Capel Shire residents, with the current design — which has been planned since the 1980s — set to “divide a community”. Main Roads WA on Friday opened a public survey for the design update to get community feedback for the project’s next stages. New additions to the design aim to “improve social connectivity” in Gelorup by a proposed pedestrian underpass at Woods Road to connect with the local road network and walking trails and the construction of a walking trail linking Five Mile Brook, local shared paths and the large tuart tree — which is recognised on the National Register of Big Trees as one of the biggest of its kind. Increased privacy is also on the agenda, with Main Roads outlining it is considering installing additional screen walls to fill the gaps between the proposed noise walls to protect the privacy of adjacent properties along the southern alignment. Environmental group Friends of the Gelorup Corridor has been actively campaigning against the proposed southern route and spokeswoman Debrah Lim said the community needed to be reminded the proposal had not yet been granted approval by the Environmental Protection Authority. Ms Lim said the survey was flawed and Main Roads should have waited until the EPA delivered its findings. “It talks about connectivity for the community they’re dividing... as if putting an underpass suddenly unites us,” she said. “We’re not against the road... but putting this through the middle of Gelorup is not a good long-term solution.” Survey entries close October 22 and can be submitted via mainroads.wa.gov.au. The EPA is expected to hand down its decision by the end of the year.