WA pours $1.2bn into roads

Western Australia injects $1.2 billion into the road network, including $35 million to improve bridges on major freight routes

May 20, 2011

Western Australia will inject $1.2 billion into its road network next financial year, including improving bridges on major freight routes.

The State Budget, handed down yesterday, allocates funding to key projects in the state in a move Transport Minister Troy Buswell says will improve major traffic connections and road user safety.

Road projects to be funded include a $1 million planning study for the Great Northern Highway to relieve congestion through Upper Swan and form part of the future Perth to Darwin national highway.

Buswell says $35 million will be spent under the state’s Safer Roads and Bridges Program.

"The funding ensures continuation of the program which targets road safety priorities and bridge improvements on major freight routes," the government says.

Another $20 million will be spent on dangerous black spots, with $2.5 million going to improvements of the South Street-Murdoch Drive intersection to cater for traffic growth and the planned development of the Murdoch Acitivty Centre and Fiona Stanley Hospital.

"At the same time, we are pressing ahead with the upgrade of key intersections to make them safer, more efficiency and less congested," Buswell says.

"These include the Great Eastern Highway-Roe Highway intersection, the recently opened Reid Highway-Alexander Drive flyover and the Reid Highway-Mirrabooka Avenue interchange currently under construction."

A large proportion of the road spend will be used on public transport initiatives, such as a new bus station, depot facilities and 45 new railcars.

Meanwhile, the police force will expand its drug and alcohol enforcement activities after securing funding for two new breath and drug buses in the budget.

"The two new drug buses will allow WA Police to expand their current roadside testing from predominately alcohol testing to alcohol and drug testing," Police and Road Safety Minister Rob Johnson says.

"It means greater traffic enforcement in regional WA, with police able to carry out large-scale alcohol and drug enforcement operations in country areas. This is not currently available with the older booze buses in the police fleet."

The West Australian Government has also committed $50 million over five years for an enhanced speed enforcement program.

"Along with alcohol, speed is the other biggest factor in road trauma and it is essential that police have the most advanced systems to ensure motorists abide by the speed limit to save lives and reduce serious injuries on our roads," Johnson says.

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