THE West Australian Government last week named a preferred proponent for the construction of Roe 8, the Roe Highway extension from the Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road, following a competitive tender process.
The preferred proponent is a consortium led by Leighton Contractors and made up of civil infrastructure company Georgiou Group, WA Limestone, GHD, AECOM and civil and structural engineering consultants BG&E.
Premier Colin Barnett said the construction contract would be signed later this year. This will be followed by a process of detailed design, to be informed by community input. Construction work will begin in early 2016, creating 600 jobs.
Mr Barnett said the tender that had come in under budget was the result of a competitive market and increased innovation in delivery.
"This is a key milestone in the journey to delivering a safer, more efficient road network in Perth's southern suburbs," the Premier said.
"Roe 8 will take 5,000 trucks off local roads and make it easier for people to access Fiona Stanley Hospital while delivering faster journey times for people who live and work south of the river.
"Critically, it will provide the necessary transport infrastructure to support the current port and associated commercial areas of Fremantle, as well as ensuring access to a future port facility to the south."
Mr Barnett also acknowledged the Federal Government's funding contribution to the project.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder said Leighton was well qualified to undertake the work, based on its long history in successfully delivering other alliance projects for Main Roads such as Gateway WA, Mandurah entrance road and the Perth to Bunbury highway.
"Its proposal included an innovative road layout at the Kwinana Freeway/Roe Highway interchange, which will enhance road safety and traffic efficiency," the Minister said.
Mr Nalder said Roe 8 would reduce congestion, improve freight efficiency and provide better safety outcomes for all road users.
Tens of thousands of people using Leach Highway are being exposed to unnecessary risk because it was never designed to carry such a volume of trucks and cars," he said.
"Between 2009 and 2013, more than 72 per cent of crashes on Leach Highway were rear-end collisions. That is significantly higher than the metropolitan region average of 43.5 per cent. The current stop-start traffic is a major contributing factor."
The announcement follows the announcement by the Federal Government that the project has received conditional environmental approval.
Some of the approval conditions include two wetland bridges built over Roe Swamp and Horse Paddock Swamp, a top-down construction process to minimise clearing footprint and compaction during construction, building the road on land already partially cleared for overhead power lines, a 523-hectare land offset package and fauna underpasses.
Mr Nalder said the State Government was committed to delivering the project in an environmentally responsible manner by adopting a sustainable design and an approach to construction that centres on innovation.