WA and Tasmania move of freight infrastructure

Road projects and improvements still get attention despite budgetary constraints

May 21, 2012

Spending priorities for the Gateway WA project were released yesterday, a few days after freight infrastructure gained a fair amount of attention in the State Budget.

The project comprises Federal Government contributions of $686.4 million and State Government contributions of $317.5 million, $276.5 million of which has been allocated in forward estimates, according to the State Government.

"With an estimated cost of $1billion, Gateway WA will be one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Western Australia," Transport Minister Troy Buswell says.

"The Kewdale, Forrestfield and Perth Airport precinct is a critical gateway for the effective movement of freight and people in WA, and this master plan shows how we will address the future transport requirements of these areas.

"Given the size, scale and complexity of this infrastructure program, the work will be progressively undertaken in packages to minimise disruption to road users, residents and industry."

Package 1 of the works, scheduled to be completed in early 2015, includes:

  • a major freeway to freeway interchange at Tonkin Highway/Leach Highway, including a new primary access road to the consolidated airport terminals
  • new interchange at Tonkin Highway/Horrie Miller Drive/Kewdale Road
  • new interchange at Leach Highway/Abernethy Road
  • upgrading Leach Highway between Orrong Road and Tonkin Highway to an expressway standard and associated upgrades to roads and intersections in the Kewdale Freight precinct
  • a principal shared path along Tonkin and Leach highways.

Package 2 of works, expected to be finalised in 2017, includes:

  • upgrading of the existing Tonkin Highway/Roe Highway interchange to a partial freeway to freeway interchange
  • upgrading Tonkin Highway between Great Eastern Highway and Roe Highway to six lanes
  • a new interchange at Boud Avenue.

Other major road works committed to, mostly around Perth, include:

  • Great Eastern Highway to Roe Highway interchange - $38.5 million
  • major upgrade of Great Eastern Highway-Kooyong Road to Tonkin Highway - $35 million
  • Reid Highway-Mirrabooka Avenue interchange - $30million
  • Mitchell Freeway, Hepburn Avenue to Hodges Drive (northbound additional lane) - $30million
  • Kwinana Freeway third lane (Leach Highway to Roe Highway) - $29 million
  • major upgrade to the South Street-Murdoch Drive intersection - $15 million

In the country, the biggest item was $94m for the Esperance Port Access Corridor project.

Bunbury has gains for two projects, with $44 million
for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road (BORR) Stage 1 from Boyanup Picton Road to South Western Highway and
$22.7 million for the Bunbury Port Access Road, Stage 2 between South Western Highway and the BORR Stage 1. The combined project is to be finished in 2014.

And $24.3m will go to upgrade various roads comprising the grain freight network as a result of some rail freight lines being decommissioned.

Meanwhile, the Tasmanian Budget was necessarily more modest with a promise of $195 million in road and rail spending in total.

The State’s most important, and controversial, road infrastructure project of recent times, the Brighton Bypass, is to be completed in the coming financial year.

Of freight significance, improved access to Bell Bay port, at $1 million over two years, will progress to the construction phase, while planning and consultation will continue on the Richmond Heavy Vehicle Link Road.

The Bell Bay Intermodal Terminal will see $500,000 of the total $9.12 million spent next year and $3.32 million the year after.

Ongoing work on the $42.5 million north east freight roads project will continue, following the replacement of the Tebrakunna Bridge, with the replacement of three others – one on Mathinna Plans Road and two on Evercreech Road, with $14.9 million for the coming year and $21 million the following year.

Other works will upgrade the Tasman Highway, Prossers Main Road and Camden Road.

On the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, the State Government says it is "working to transition" from January 1, 2013.

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