Transport Minister Eric Charlton said today the State Government's decision to upgrade and extend the Kwinana Freeway to Safety Bay Road and link with the existing Mandurah dual carriageway would provide a major boost for the rapidly-expanding Peel Region.
The construction of the freeway extension was announced today by Premier Richard Court as part of TransformWA, a $1.3 billion works program which will complete the State's unfinished road and transport network.
"When this project is completed in 2000-1 we will finally have a genuine expressway between Mandurah and Perth which is something the community has been urging us to provide," Mr Charlton said.
"The project includes the widening of the Narrows Bridge and building a dedicated dual bus lane from Perth through to South Street, giving Mandurah commuters the opportunity of utilising the Murdoch Park n' Ride station.
"The replacement of traffic signal intersections with flyovers and the extension of the freeway to the existing Mandurah dual carriageway will provide major benefits for the travelling public.
"People will be able to use the expressway with ease, saving on travel time and having the option of using a world-class public transport system."
The TransformWA package was applauded today by Dawesville MLA Arthur Marshall and Mandurah MLA Roger Nicholls, who had campaigned vigorously for the freeway extension and upgrade.
They said they had supported Transport Minister Eric Charlton in producing the major transport initiative for the State.
"TransformWA will dramatically improve the capacity of Kwinana Freeway and ensure the long awaited connection through to Mandurah by 2001," Mr Marshall said.
"Initially, TransformWA will provide the funding to extend from Thomas Road in Kwinana to Safety Bay Road and a connection on to the existing dual carriageway to Mandurah.
"This is not the ultimate option, of course, but it does enable this vital connection to be made sooner as opposed to later, while keeping alive the future plan of a new Kwinana Freeway alignment from Safety Bay through to Mandurah.
"The State Government will continue to press the Federal Government for funding for the Freeway completion through to Mandurah."
Mr Marshall said that removal of the signalised intersections between Berrigan Drive and Anketell Road and the elimination of the ‘Clayton's' freeway syndrome would provide an unimpeded run through to Mandurah under TransformWA.
"The plan also places a major focus on public transport and there will be the provision of bus acceleration lanes to improve bus access on to the route," he said.
"There will be less congestion, improved travel times and travelling generally will be lot safer."
Roger Nicholls said the Kwinana Freeway improvements were eagerly awaited by people living in the Mandurah region.
"I am disappointed that no confirmed plans have been announced on the completion of the Freeway to Mandurah, having campaigned for it for over nine years," he said.
"However, I see this extension as a major step forward.
"I intend to hold further discussions with the Premier and Eric Charlton to determine possible alternatives to fast-track the completion of the Freeway through to Mandurah."
Media contact: Doug Cunningham 7321 7333