The suburbs of Eaton and Treendale will be united by a traffic bridge over the Collie River under a re-elected Liberal Government, Transport Minister Troy Buswell announced on Friday.
Mr Buswell said the Liberals had allocated $18 million for the bridge, estimated to cost $24 million.
The party believes the bridge is needed to cut travel time between Eaton and Treendale and improve traffic flow on the Australind Bypass.
Work would start in 2015 and the bridge would be open by the end of 2016. Mr Buswell said $6 million shortfall would need to be funded by existing developer contributions.
The Harvey and Dardanup shire councils – which have been pushing for the bridge for a decade – have tried and failed to win Federal Government funds the project.
Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett said he hoped the project would be completed in 2016.
Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said he supported the plan to build the bridge but was sceptical of the construction dates given by Mr Buswell.
“During my doorknocking the bridge was an issue which was brought to my attention, ” he said.
“I will be watching closely because 2016 is a long time away.”
Mr Murray said Mr Buswell should have committed to finishing the project during the Government’s next term.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if, in four years, we hear this re-announced at the next election, ” he said.
Liberal candidate for Collie-Preston Jaimee Motion said the bridge would also improve traffic flow on the Australind Bypass.
“The construction of a bridge will lead to improved local traffic flows within these rapidly developing suburbs rather than diverting traffic around the outside of the urban area, ” she said.
Mr Buswell said the bridge’s benefits would include a reduction in emergency response times.
“It makes sense to build this vital link which will cut travel time and bring together the people of Eaton and Treendale and we are happy to assist with this Local Government project, ” he said.
Murray-Wellington MLA Murray Cowper, Collie Preston Liberal candidate Jamie Motion and Treasurer Troy Buswell overlook the plans for the Eaton-Treendale connection road.