WORK will start in early 2016 on the Tonkin Grade Separations, the first stage of the $1.12 billion NorthLink WA initiative, which aims to enhance freight efficiency and productivity by improving the link between Perth and the north west of WA.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss last week announced that John Holland Pty Ltd had been selected as the preferred proponent for Stage 1 of the project. It is anticipated the contract will be awarded in the coming weeks.
"NorthLink WA is a game changing project that will reduce congestion on major freight corridors and support thousands of new jobs," Mr Truss said.
"This project will deliver new flyovers at the intersections of Collier Road, Morley Drive and Benara Road and an upgraded section of the Tonkin Highway north of Guildford Road.
"The Tonkin Highway provides a vital link for regional traffic movements to commercial and industrial areas such as Malaga, Kewdale, Perth Airport and the Perth CBD and through to the port and Kwinana industrial areas.
"The next component of NorthLink WA is Stage 2 from Reid Highway and connecting with the Brand Highway and Great Northern Highway, providing a major route to the north-west."
WA Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the Tonkin Highway carried more than 70,000 vehicles per day and the grade separations would result in freer-flowing traffic, similar to the $986 million Gateway WA project.
"Fewer traffic lights means vehicles keep moving and travel times improve, resulting in less congestion on local roads and safer neighbourhoods and communities," Mr Nalder said.
"This project is another example of the Government's commitment to addressing the growing impact that traffic volumes have on the community.
"There has been a high level of involvement from communities, businesses, local government authorities, environmental organisations and many other stakeholders to get the Tonkin Grade Separations ready for construction.
"We will be delivering this project in the current competitive marketplace, which will provide better roads for motorists and greater value for taxpayer dollars."
Stage 2 of NorthLink WA will provide a new 37 kilometre highway from the intersection of Reid and Tonkin highways in Malaga through the Swan Valley to Muchea.
The Australian Government has committed more than $894 million and the Western Australian Government more than $223 million to the project.