The State Government has broken ground to officially announce the start of construction on the central section of the NorthLink WA road initiative.
Work will begin on the $1.12 billion project from Thursday to provide a non-stop transport route between Morley and Muchea that is expected to halve travel times and reduce congestion.
Construction will include a major freeway-to-freeway interchange at the intersection of Tonkin and Reid Highways, along with bridged intersections at Marshall Road, Hepburn Avenue, Gnangara Road, The Promenade and Beechboro Road.
Motorists travelling from Kewdale to Muchea will potentially be able to avoid up to 16 sets of traffic lights, two railway crossings and 21 speech limit changes.
NorthLink WA is expected to take the majority of heavy traffic away from Great Northern Highway, increase network capacity and create a safer local environment for Swan Valley residents, businesses and tourists.
The project will create more than 1,000 new jobs during construction.
The Australian Government has committed $820 million to the project, while the Western Australian Government has committed $204 million.
All sections of NorthLink WA are expected to be completed by mid-2019.
Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said NorthLink WA is important for Western Australia’s road improvement.
“NorthLink WA central is a vital part of the $1 billion project that will improve safety and ease congestion on the roads,” he said.
“(It) will also be improved by using a combination of median strips, and around 150 kilometres of road safety barriers to separate vehicles from oncoming traffic, as well as eliminating two of the State’s most dangerous intersections.”
He said the initiative will benefit all sections of the community.
“This project will be a vital part of Perth’s freight network, with 80 per cent of heavy vehicles to be redirected from Great Northern Highway onto the new route,” Mr Chester said.
“This project will allow our farmers and primary producers to get goods to market quicker, while remaining competitive in global and domestic markets.”
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said NorthLink WA would improve traffic in a range of suburbs for drivers while also helping a range of businesses.
“The communities of Ellenbrook, Bennett Springs, Beechboro and Ballajura will have faster and safer access to their destinations,” Ms Saffioti said.
“When finished, the improved and extended Tonkin Highway will be capable of carrying more than double the current number of vehicles and the free flow of traffic will mean vehicles keep moving and travel times improve.”
“It will reduce travel times, congestion and help support industry, motorists and the local community.”