Infrastructure: $3 billion for transport upgrades in Perth’s east

The combined impact of the newly announced $2billion Forrestfield Airport Link and the $1billion Gateway WA project will transform Perth’s eastern suburbs into a commercial and residential hub within easy access of the city’s industrial areas, central business district and Fremantle Ports, Transport Minister Dean Nalder said today.

“Perth has expanded to the north and south and our infrastructure has followed suit.  Now we are investing in the east of the city so our roads and public transport services reach growing business and residential communities in this area,” Mr Nalder said.

The eight-kilometre Forrestfield Airport Link tunnel will be an average of 15 metres below ground and include twin bored tunnels, both 6.2 metres in diameter.

“Tunnels save space and reduce the impact on existing residential and business areas, which is a great outcome,” the Minister said.

“In the same way the Mandurah and Joondalup lines have underpinned urban developments along the south and north of Perth, the Forrestfield Airport Link will drive growth and open new opportunities to the east.

“Combined with the Gateway WA project, these two major infrastructure builds will revolutionise the way we think about the city’s eastern suburbs.”

Mr Nalder also released a new video ‘fly-through’ of the joint State and Federally-funded Gateway WA project, which gives viewers an insight into the transformational project in its finished state.

Construction on Gateway WA started mid last-year and is due to finish in 2017, and will result in 11 new bridges and 45km of new road.

The Minister said the project reached a major milestone recently when bridge beams were hoisted into place at the intersection of Tonkin Highway and Leach Highway.

“This is the basis of the first of four bridges at the new interchange that will carry traffic to and from the airport,” he said. “This grade separated interchange will become the grand gateway to the city of Perth.”

Mr Nalder said more than 550 Western Australian businesses were sharing in the work associated with the billion dollar Gateway WA project.

At present there are 305 contractors and 264 suppliers of services with local content engaged by the Gateway WA Alliance team on the project.

“The value of these contracts range from several thousand dollars to several million dollars, and to date they are collectively worth almost $400million,” the Minister said.

“It is a good demonstration of the sorts of economic benefits that are gained from an infrastructure project as large as this.  I would expect to see similar benefits from the construction of the Forrestfield Airport Link.”

Fact File

The Gateway WA is funded by the Federal Government ($686.4million) and the WA State Government ($317.5million) and includes:

  • a freeway-to-freeway traffic interchange at the Tonkin and Leach highways intersection, with free flowing movements in all directions, and a major new access to the international airport terminal
  • an interchange at the Tonkin Highway, Horrie Miller Drive and Kewdale Road intersection, removing one of Perth’s worst black spots
  • an interchange at the Leach Highway and Abernethy Road intersection
  • upgrade of the existing interchange at the junction of the Tonkin and Roe highways to a partial freeway-to-freeway interchange 
  • widening of the Tonkin Highway to six lanes between the Great Eastern and Roe highways 
  • upgrade of Leach Highway to ‘expressway standard’ between Tonkin Highway and Orrong Road, maximising the benefits of the new Leach Highway and Abernethy Road interchange 
  • an interchange and road extension to Dunreath Drive 
  • upgrading local access roads in the Kewdale industrial area 
  • noise mitigation measures, cycling and pedestrian facilities and the installation of Intelligent Transport Systems infrastructure
  • staged construction to minimise disruption to road users, residents and industry

The $2billion Forrestfield Airport Link Project Definition Plan Summary has also been released:

  • Rail line will connect Perth’s eastern foothills with the Transperth network via the airport 
  • The new line will add 20,000 boardings on the Transperth network by 2021
  • Forrestfield Station to the CBD will be a 20 minute ride, Consolidated Airport 18 minutes, and Belmont Station 15 minutes
  • Construction will start in 2016 with completion expected in 2020
  • Design and Build tender to go to market next year

Source: News Release Transport Minister Dean Nalder, 13 August 2014

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