Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss and Western Australian Transport Minister Troy Buswell today announced a major milestone had been reached in the Esperance Port Access Corridor Project.
The new bridge linking Twilight Beach Road with The Esplanade has been opened to traffic, signalling a major improvement to safety and efficiency and the end of conflict between port, local road and rail traffic.
Mr Truss said the Federal Government recognises the significance of the Esperance Port Access Corridor by funding this project under its Infrastructure Investment Program which is providing $35.5billion for infrastructure projects over the five year period to 2018-19.
“Esperance is experiencing a time of growth brought on by regional expansion in mining and agriculture,” Mr Truss said.
“The upgraded port access corridor will support increased business activity at the port by delivering major transport efficiencies and reducing freight costs, boosting productivity. It will also cater for the general development of the town and region by improving road safety for local commuters.”
Mr Buswell said the new bridge allows local road users, pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross the transport corridor without the need to negotiate level crossings or share the road with heavy vehicles bound for the port.
“Contractor John Holland is now focused on finalising the realignment of 1.8km of Harbour Road to the port, which should be open soon and will allow road traffic to directly enter the port on the southern side of the railway. This will be followed by the switching of rail traffic onto a new track to enter the port,” he said.
Jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments, the $120million Esperance Port Access Corridor project was launched in early 2012 following a comprehensive planning and consultation exercise by Main Roads WA.
In addition to the Twilight Beach Road bridge, the project included the removal of two level crossings, the realignment of both Harbour Road and the railway to improve port access and a rail tunnel which is already operational.
To further improve local connections, there is also a new bridge linking Harbour Road with Johns Street and the West Beach area, due to open in the near future, and an underpass at Griffin Street that will open towards the end of the project.
The upgraded Esperance Port Access Corridor Project is expected to be completed in autumn 2014.
Minister's office - 6552 6400