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New traffic lane open in Northbridge Tunnel

Posted On April 29, 2013

Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

  • Three lanes now open in each direction in Northbridge Tunnel
  • Commuters cut their travel time because of increased capacity in tunnel
  • 30,000 extra vehicles a day able to pass through tunnel

Northbridge Tunnel is now operating across six lanes and able to cope with about 30,000 extra vehicles every day.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell officially declared two new lanes open this morning. The tunnel now carries three lanes of traffic in each direction.

Mr Buswell said the new lanes would help Perth drivers save time on their daily commute.

“This is great news for the 100,000 motorists already using the tunnel every week day. The extra lanes mean that the tunnel can handle more vehicles at any given time and will save drivers valuable time on their journey,” he said.

“Drivers who have used the additional lane eastbound during the past two weeks have reported significant time savings and much improved traffic flow during the morning peak period.”

The Minister said the $57million Mitchell Freeway and Northbridge tunnel project formed part of the State Government's Perth CBD Transport Plan to address Perth CBD congestion.

“This project is part of a bigger package of transport solutions under way that will improve our CBD road network and address the challenges associated with Perth's increasing population,” he said.

Mr Buswell thanked Perth drivers for their patience while the work on the tunnel upgrade took place.

"We understand traffic congestion is frustrating and has an impact on people’s day-to-day lives. The increasing traffic on our roads reflects the State’s prosperity - with growth and development comes extra people and cars,” he said.

“The Government has recognised this growth and is delivering road projects that will be completed in the months to come and will deliver long-term benefits to the people of Western Australia.”

One of the biggest changes westbound drivers will notice is the new Mitchell Freeway on-ramp from the Graham Farmer Freeway’s Loftus Street exit. This significantly improves safety by eliminating the need for drivers to cross multiple traffic lanes to exit the freeway northbound at Vincent Street.

The Minister said motorists would realise the full benefits of the extra westbound lane in the tunnel when the additional lane on Mitchell Freeway was completed from Vincent Street to Hutton Street by the end of the year.

Mr Buswell said the tunnel would operate with a reduced speed limit for at least the first month, to give motorists time to get used to the new layout.

Main Roads has produced a brochure containing important safety information and tunnel driving tips and a series of videos of the various traffic movements within the tunnel, which can be viewed on the tunnel’s new dedicated webpage at http://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/UsingRoads/RoadTrafficInformation/Pages/navtunnel.aspx

Fact File

  • $57million Mitchell Freeway and Northbridge tunnel project forms part of the State Government's Perth CBD Transport Plan to address Perth CBD congestion
  • Once completed, they will:
  1. increase tunnel capacity by about 30,000 vehicles a day
  2. give commuters time savings
  3. improve merging arrangements on to Mitchell Freeway
  4. improve northbound capacity on Mitchell Freeway
  5. improve the exit arrangement at Vincent (Southport) Street from Mitchell Freeway (northbound)
  • When constructed in 2000, Northbridge Tunnel included 350km of cabling, 15km of fire piping, 3,000 lights, more than 300 traffic signs and signals, 160 emergency phones, 60 CCTV cameras and 360 PA speakers. More than 1,000 new items of equipment were installed during this latest upgrade
  • More than 380 million vehicles have safely passed through the 1.6km Northbridge Tunnel since its opening

Source: ProjectLink.com.au

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