The West

The Barnett Government today announced an expensive plan to upgrade road infrastructure in Perth’s northern suburbs despite recently promising there would be no big-ticket item spending before the election in the face of soaring State debt.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell unveiled plans to spend $500 million in suburbs like Carine and Malaga to improve road safety and reduce congestion.

“A six kilometre extension of the Mitchell Freeway from Burns Beach Road to Hester Avenue will be built from 2014-15 to 2016-17,” Mr Buswell said.

“This will help to relieve pressure on local roads in the growth suburbs of Clarkson, Butler and Jindalee.”

The Barnett Government has announced several transport projects during their term in Government without any confirmation about how they will be funded or when they will be built.

But Mr Buswell promised there would be funding for this project in the midyear review.

“We are spending literally billions of dollars right around the metropolitan area and around regional WA on road infrastructure and public transport infrastructure,” Mr Buswell said.

“Yes it’s significant and I’m absolutely sure it will be welcomed by the people in the northern suburbs but this is just the latest in what has been a constant investment, or constant commitment to invest in road and public transport infrastructure by this Government.”

The plan includes a $315 million extension of Mitchell Freeway to Hester Avenue in Clarkson and $75 million to build a bridge for Malaga Drive over Reid Highway.

$48 million would be spent on turning Reid Hwy into dual carriageways from Duffy Road to Erindale Road in Carine, $31 million to widen Mitchell Freeway northbound by one lane from the city to Hutton St and $30 million to widen Mitchell Freeway northbound by one lane from Hepburn Ave to Hodges Drive.

“Without this extension, traffic volumes on Perth’s two major north-south arterial routes - Marmion Avenue north of Burns Beach Road and Wanneroo Road - would soon rise to dangerous and unmanageable levels,” Mr Buswell said.

Premier Colin Barnett said all five projects would contribute to improved travel times for motorists and result in savings for business through improved transport certainty.

“It will provide a major safety enhancement at this intersection, which recorded nearly 400 crashes in 10 years to the end of 2010, in which 16 people were seriously injured.”

The West Australian

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