Transport Minister Murray Criddle today announced that work on the western extension of Reid Highway would start later this month following the award of a construction contract to Henry Walker Eltin.
Mr Criddle said that the $16 million extension would carry the existing Reid Highway from Mitchell Freeway to Marmion Avenue in Carine and relieve pressure on the local road network, particularly North Beach Road.
He said that Stirling City Council had campaigned vigorously to have the highway constructed and was contributing $3.5 million towards project costs.
“This important road will have a single lane in each direction enabling traffic to travel safely through Carine without impacting on the quiet back streets in the area,” the Minister said.
Mr Criddle said that Main Roads had carried out exhaustive public consultation with people living in the area and local input had been an important factor in the design of the road.
“Main Roads has carried out household surveys during the past five years as well as setting up community information displays at various shopping centres and community buildings,” he said.
Mr Criddle said that he welcomed State Opposition support for the project, but rejected a plan from Alannah MacTiernan to construct a dog leg near Big Carine Swamp.
“She has written to me on two occasions in the past three months offering support but I can’t accept her proposition that we should move the road closer to residents in Doriot Way, Carine,” he said.
“The new road has all the environmental clearances and will not impact adversely on Lake Carine but the idea that we should suddenly change the goalposts and shift the road closer to the houses doesn’t make any sense.
“If we followed her advice we would have to create a brand new road reserve and build the roadway hard up against dozens of houses and families who live in Doriot Way. She might think that is a good idea but we don’t.
“We have spent many years working with the community on a design solution for this important road and we are not prepared to act on an Opposition whim that will disrupt the lives of people in Doriot Way.
“The Opposition doesn’t seem to understand that the road reserve has been in existence for decades and people have been making their home investments on the long-standing set of plans.
“The concept of a dog leg on this road would also create safety issues for road users.”
Mr Criddle said that while the Reid Highway extension would initially be for a single lane in either direction, earthworks would be carried out for a future four-lane dual carriageway.
“This work will form part of this project and will allow the road to be upgraded some time in the future with minimal impact on residents and road users,” he said.
Mr Criddle said that designing facilities for local residents to cross the highway extension had also been a priority.
“Pedestrians and cyclists have been catered for with two dual-use overpasses being constructed near Everingham Street and Pendine Street and an underpass near the Mitchell Freeway,” he said.
“Initially only one crossing point was included in the project but, following community consultation, two others were added to ensure that north and south access is maintained to important recreational and educational facilities.”
He said that the sensitive environment around Big Carine Swamp had been addressed extensively with an environmental management plan developed to protect the area before, during and after construction.
“Water quality at Big Carine Swamp will improve when drainage basins around the area are constructed, taking water run-off from local roads and the highway for filtering before entering the swamp,” Mr Criddle said.
The project would also incorporate traffic signals at Marmion Avenue, Okely Road north and at the on and off-ramps to Mitchell Freeway. Noise walls would be constructed where required and street lighting installed along the project length.
Mr Criddle said that extensive landscaping would also be carried out following construction to beautify the area and integrate the road with the existing natural environment.
He said that a future upgrade of the highway to a four-lane dual carriageway was not yet on the Main Roads ten-year construction program, however future works would include constructing an additional lane in each direction as well as duplicating the bridge over Mitchell Freeway.
Media contact: Doug Cunningham - 9321 7333