Port city land resumed for toll road

The State Government has paid more than $4.5 million to buy Fremantle land that will ultimately be used for WA's first toll road.

The land resumptions in High, Montreal and Holland streets were revealed in documents obtained from Main Roads through Freedom of Information laws.

The most expensive of the five properties was at 333 High Street. It was resumed for $2.115 million.

It is believed Main Roads owns more than 20 properties in the area. Initially the resumed properties were needed for the $68 million project to widen a section of High Street and to realign the intersection of High Street and Stirling Highway - upgrades designed to improve access into Fremantle port, especially for heavy trucks.

But it is now understood the High Street plans have been swallowed up by the controversial $1.6 billion Perth Freight Link - a project announced by the Federal Government in its May Budget.

With designs for the Perth Freight Link still in their early stages, work on the High Street project has been put on hold.

The freight link project will provide a high-standard freight connection between Perth Airport and Fremantle port.

It will include a toll for heavy vehicles, an upgrade of Stock Road, an extension of Roe Highway and no traffic lights.

When it is finished by 2020, it is claimed that it will take 16 minutes off the Reid Highway to Fremantle port route and remove about 65,000 trucks a day from local roads, addressing some of the traffic pressures when Fiona Stanley Hospital is operating.

Under an 80-20 funding split, the Federal Government will contribute $925 million to the freight link project and the State Government $230 million. Another $445 million will come from the private sector which, in exchange for its investment, will be able to collect a toll from heavy vehicle users of the road for 25 to 30 years.

A Main Roads spokesman said discussions about the freight link were progressing with the City of Fremantle, key stakeholders and a community focus group.

The West Australian

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