WEST Australian Transport Minister Dean Nalder last week unveiled a congestion-easing plan to improve traffic flow through the Perth CBD by introducing a second entry to the new Perth Busport.
The Wellington Street entrance will be built as part of the underground Perth Busport project and is expected to be operational in mid-2016. Mr Nalder said the project would benefit motorists, public transport users and pedestrians.
"Planning for the project began in 2010 and the State Government, through the Public Transport Authority (PTA), has been collaborating with key stakeholders on its design, impact to Wellington Street and construction co-ordination," the Minister said.
The 60-metre-long entrance tunnel will start west of William Street and be completely underground before it reaches Queen Street. The structure will be in the centre of Wellington Street which means the existing four lanes of traffic will be maintained.
"This entrance will have the potential to improve more than 130,000 bus passenger journeys in and out of the CBD each day," Mr Nalder said.
"It will also benefit motorists along Wellington, William and Milligan streets because the buses will run underground."
The existing entrance to the new Perth Busport was constructed during the Perth City Link rail works and connects to the Milligan Street bus bridge. The new component of the works will cost about $20 million and will be funded from within the current $209 million budget.
The Perth City Link project aims to reconnect the CBD with Northbridge and create a vibrant new mixed-use precinct. It is expected to attract $4 billion worth of private investment and provide approximately 244,000 square metres of commercial and retail space and around 1,650 new dwellings, according to the government.
In addition to the bus component, the project also involved the sinking of the Fremantle Line between William Street and Lake/King Street and upgrades to Perth Station. The first trains travelled through the 600-metre tunnel in July this year.