AUSTRALIAN Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss this month announced that the $1 billion Gateway WA project is on track for completion in early 2017.
During a site visit earlier in the month, Mr Truss confirmed the Coalition Government's "iron-clad" commitment to putting the WA economy in the fast lane, describing Gateway WA as crucial for the West and the nation.
"This particular road will dramatically improve access to Perth Airport and its surrounds, but it will also reduce traffic congestion for locals and free businesses from gridlock," Mr Truss said, adding that airport passenger numbers through Perth are expected to hit 25 million per year by 2030.
"The consolidation of the domestic and international terminals will also increase the pressure on the existing access roads," he said.
"These factors, along with the forecast growth in commuter traffic in east and southeast Perth, as well as the industrial developments in Kewdale and Forrestfield, make it imperative that this area has high-quality infrastructure to cater for its needs."
Western Australian Transport Minister Dean Nalder described Gateway WA as a massive infrastructure project that would change the way people moved in and around the city.
"Gateway WA will transform road networks around Perth by creating a critical pathway for the effective movement of freight and people around Perth Airport and surrounding industrial areas," Mr Nalder said.
"It will create a more connected and vibrant city and is a major part of WA's plan to manage congestion in and around the city."
Works include the construction of major interchanges at the intersections of Tonkin Highway with Leach Highway and Horrie Miller Drive; upgrading Leach Highway between Tonkin Highway and Orrong Road to expressway standard; and widening Tonkin Highway to six lanes between Great Eastern and Roe highways.
"The project will also support resource operations in regional areas of the State by improving access to the airport for their fly-in fly-out workforces," Mr Nalder said.
The Australian Government has committed $686.4 million to the $1 billion project, with the Western Australian Government committing the remaining $317.5 million.