Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan today announced plans to build a new $21million four-lane bridge on Leach Highway - a major plank in the Government’s strategy to make the metropolitan freight network more efficient.
Ms MacTiernan said the new bridge would carry traffic over Orrong Road - currently one of Perth’s most notorious intersections.
“The new interchange will improve traffic flow, provide greater efficiency for trucks and, importantly, improve road safety in the area,” she said.
“The project forms a key part of the Government’s six-point plan under the Freight Network Strategy for the area and delivers on Labor’s promise to make Kewdale more effective as the hub of road and rail transport.”
The Minister announced that the contract had been awarded to road builder John Holland Pty Ltd.
Construction will start late this month and be completed by the end of the year.
Works will also include improved cyclist and pedestrian facilities.
Belmont MLA Eric Ripper welcomed the announcement and said noisewalls would be installed where required, with extensive consultation with local residents.
Mr Ripper said local motorists would benefit greatly from the new bridge.
“For anyone who has had to travel through this intersection, particularly during peak traffic periods, the congestion can only be described as a nightmare,” he said.
“Commuters, transporters, industry and local residents who are forced to travel this intersection will be relieved once the bridge is commissioned.
“Inevitably, there will be short-term disruptions to traffic flow during the construction of the bridge, and I urge motorists to keep in mind the huge benefits at the conclusion of the works - namely improved safety, reduced driver frustration and better travel times.”
Main Roads WA will manage the project, with John Holland given the task of managing what will be a very complex construction job, while keeping open the intersection to normal daily traffic.
Ms MacTiernan said the Leach Highway / Orrong Road intersection had always been busy, but was experiencing increased problems due to the opening of the Graham Farmer Freeway.
“Since opening in 2000, the freeway has increased traffic along Orrong Road by 40 per cent with over 70,000 vehicles using the intersection each day,” the Minister said.
“The increasing importance of Orrong Road was recognised in July 2005, when it was handed over to Main Roads from the Cities of Belmont and Canning to become a State Government responsibility.
“We are investing in projects such as the Welshpool interchange as part of our plan to improve transport services for the community.”
Minister's office: 9213 6400