The West

Wellington Street woes until next year

Is it a carpark? Is it a construction site? No, it is one of Perth's busiest - and most worked on - inner-city streets.

It is hard to remember a time when Wellington Street was not a maze of witch's hats, workers in fluoro vests and signs warning "Road works ahead", "Signals not in use", "Pedestrians watch your step".

And for inner-city commuters, the congestion caused by roadworks is unlikely to ease anytime soon as works are carried out as part of the revitalisation of the central business district.

When The Weekend West travelled east and west along Wellington Street in peak hour this week, it took between three and 17 minutes to travel the 1.3km distance from Pier Street to the freeway north entrance.

Travelling west, the road narrows to one lane for several hundred metres, creating a long line of motorists who can only sit and watch as cyclists manoeuvre their way in between the cars.

The City of Perth, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and the Water Corporation have been carrying out works since September, with a finish date of February next year.

Since the 2007-08 financial year, the City of Perth has spent $4.3 million on street enhancement, footpaths, landscaping and resurfacing along Wellington Street, with the majority of that funding to go towards street enhancement between Elder and Little Milligan streets this year.

At the same time, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority is spending $13m on power, water, sewer, stormwater, gas and telecommunications upgrades, which a spokesman said would service the thousands of residents and workers who will be accommodated within the new Perth City Link precinct.

The Water Corporation is undertaking a $6.5 million drainage program between William Street and Shafto Lane, which will be finished by April.

The MRA spokesman said the upgrades had been incorporated into one rolling program of works to minimise the need for further closures and diversions over the coming years.

The West Australian

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