Works on the $716 million Thornlie-Cockburn Link are progressing well, with almost 500 workers now engaged on the project and further jobs to be created as construction ramps up.
Updated and advanced designs for the train stations at Ranford Road, Nicholson Road and Thornlie were unveiled today, along with new artist impressions for the upgraded Ranford Road Bridge.
The project is jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments.
Contractor NEWest Alliance (CPB Contractors and Downer) is working on site, with significant service relocation and road realignment works currently underway along with clearing, fencing, fauna trapping, tree protection, and road and pavement construction taking place at various station sites.
The opportunity to upgrade the Ranford Road Bridge to cater for future traffic volumes and station access was identified in the design phase and will prevent the need to retrofit costly upgrades in coming years.
The new bridge will be higher to future-proof the rail corridor, and will have six general traffic lanes, bus lanes and a shared path on each side to facilitate cycling and pedestrian access.
In the next few months, a section of Ranford Road will be realigned to the east and reduced to two lanes in each direction, to ensure traffic can still use the bridge while construction of the new infrastructure takes place. Traffic staging will enable the majority of work to take place during the day, reducing impact on surrounding residents.
Premier Mark McGowan said the Thornlie-Cockburn Link is just one of the major infrastructure projects underway that will create thousands of jobs and make WA an even better place to live and work.
"Maintaining activity in the construction sector is a pillar of our economic recovery, and METRONET projects like this are creating hundreds of jobs from designers to engineers to tradespeople to truck drivers," he said.
"This ties in with all our work in the training sector, offering affordable TAFE courses and apprenticeships for those looking for work in the METRONET space.
"It's pleasing to see works well and truly underway on this major project - Perth's first east-west train link, that will help transform our rail network across our suburbs."
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said there was unprecedented work underway at METRONET rail projects across Perth.
"All along the Morrison Government have said that METRONET will re-shape Perth and we are seeing that happen before our eyes across the metropolitan area," Mr Tudge said.
"It means jobs for hard-working West Australians and financial stimulus for the WA economy right now, when it's needed more than ever."
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the Thornlie-Cockburn Link was a major election commitment and she was pleased to have the chance to visit the site of the future Ranford Road Station for the first time.
"The construction phase will support 1,680 jobs over the next few years, while thousands more will be created on other major projects in our southern suburbs that complement this project including the Kwinana Freeway widening and the North Lake Road Bridge," she said.
"These major works will create more vibrant communities with connections to good quality public transport."
When the Thornlie-Cockburn Link is complete, passengers using Ranford Road Station will be able to travel to Perth in about 29 minutes. The station is on a high-frequency bus route, and will also help service the Canning Vale industrial area.
The 17.5km extension from Thornlie to Cockburn Central will serve the current and future growth occurring between the Mandurah and Armadale lines and address gaps in public transport in these communities, as well as providing a direct link to Optus Stadium for Mandurah Line passengers.
Major construction is due to be completed in 2022, with train services operating in 2023.
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