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Major road project starts to improve Perth network

Posted On February 5, 2013

Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

  • Extra lanes for Mitchell Freeway northbound
  • Transformational works underway to increase Perth’s road capacity

Transport Minister Troy Buswell today announced the start of work on a major road project, funded by the Liberal National Government, to improve Perth’s traffic flow.

Mr Buswell said work would soon start on the addition of extra lanes in the Northbridge Tunnel, which is part of the Graham Farmer Freeway, and an extra lane on the Mitchell Freeway, northbound to Hutton Street.

“This $57million project is part of a bigger package of transport solutions to improve the operation of the CBD road network and address the challenges associated with Perth's increasing population,” he said.

“Once completed, it will provide an alternative route for east-west CBD traffic; and improve merging, exit arrangements and northbound capacity on Mitchell Freeway. It will also help manage the impact of other important CBD developments.”

The freeway works are being undertaken by Abigroup, which will initially concentrate on the section from the city to Vincent Street and ultimately increase northbound capacity on Mitchell Freeway.

“This includes construction of an extra lane and a new Mitchell Freeway on-ramp from the Graham Farmer Freeway’s Loftus Street exit,” the Minister said.

“This is a highly innovative element of the project that will significantly improve safety. It will eliminate the need for motorists exiting the tunnel to cross three lanes of traffic to exit at Vincent Street.”

From May to December 2013, Abigroup will complete the extra lane and bridge widenings from Vincent Street to Hutton Street.

Mr Buswell said today’s announcement was in addition to a new $30million third northbound lane which was started last month along the 7.2km stretch of Mitchell Freeway, from Hepburn Avenue to Hodges Drive.

“Once completed, this widening will accommodate the rapid increase in freeway traffic between Hepburn Avenue and Hodges Drive, which is already approaching the 2016 forecast of more than 40,000 vehicles per day,” he said.

The works on Mitchell Freeway will require lane closures and speed reductions. However, emergency lanes will be utilised to maintain capacity.

“Together, the two Mitchell Freeway projects will help relieve the pressure on the freeway in the afternoon peak period, improving traffic flow and peak hour travel times out of the CBD,” the Minister said.

“They will also reduce traffic congestion on alternative north-south routes.

“While every effort will be made to minimise disruptions, some delays are to be expected, especially at peak times. We ask motorists to be patient and, where possible, plan ahead, allow additional travel time and seek alternative routes where practical while these transformational works are under way.”

Mr Buswell said work will start on the Northbridge Tunnel in March, with the new lanes open to traffic in May. The improvements will be complemented by a driver education campaign to ensure motorists are well-informed about the new lane-merging arrangements.

Last week, the Minister unveiled a new set of tools to help Perth motorists find alternative routes during traffic disruption. These included a series of traffic maps, a weekly update of current road works and suggested alternate routes available on the Main Roads website.

Fact File

  • In the past 4 years, Liberal National Government has spent $4billion on the road network. This is $636million more than under last 4 years of Labor
  • In December 2012, the Liberal-led Government also announced funding of $315million to extend Mitchell Freeway from Burns Beach Road to Hester Avenue
  • Today’s announcement is first widening of Mitchell Freeway since 2000
  • All widening works will be undertaken within the current freeway reservation


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