Near Kelmscott, the road passes through thick jarrah forest in the Darling Scarp; however further east, the landscape soon becomes flat, passing through wheat farming regions until reaching Ravensthorpe. The eastern part of Route 40 is quite narrow in places. The state government is progressively upgrading sections of the road.
The highway is a part of the route linking Perth to Esperance and is identified as a strategic freight and tourist route. For most of the road it is able to cater for heavy vehicle combinations up to 36.5m in length which generally carry grain and livestock. Tourism traffic, particularly to Wave Rock, is also prevalent along the western stretch of the road.
This section requires expansion with: History prior to 2011. (November 2012)
The bushfire in Kelmscott and Roleystone on 6 February 2011 destroyed the Buckingham Bridge. The bridge had originally been built from timber in 1935. A temporary bridge over the Canning River was opened 4 March 2011 and was constructed using 400 tonnes of rock, 250 tonnes of crushed limestone and 4500 tonnes of fill material. Heavy vehilcles were unable to use the structure and had to detour at Welshpool Road. This part of the highway is used by up to 4,000 vehicles per day.
The Buckingham Bridge was replaced with a permanent concrete and steel bridge. The bridge is to be constructed to south of the temporary crossing, so that traffic will not be disturbed. It is expected to be finished in the middle of 2013.