THE $236 million Mitchell Freeway extension through Perth's fast-growing outer northern suburbs is now complete, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Mark McGowan last week officially opening the extension.
The project, which is 80 per cent funded by the Australian Government and 20 per cent funded by the WA Government, extends the freeway from Burns Beach Road to Hester Avenue, and aims to ease congestion for the residents of Perth's northern suburbs and accommodate housing and commercial opportunities in the northern corridor.
"We are partnering in the big projects like the Mitchell Freeway extension, which coupled with the enterprise of Western Australians, will create new jobs, tackle congestion and grow the State's economy," Mr Turnbull said.
"Less time in traffic allows motorists to spend more time with their families or more time at work. It means quicker, safer and cheaper commuting for individuals and businesses."
Key features of the project include:
- A six kilometre, four-lane extension of the Mitchell Freeway from Burns Beach Road in Joondalup to Hester Avenue in Clarkson;
- Interchanges at Burns Beach Road, Neerabup Road and Hester Avenue; and
- An extension of Neerabup Road (east from Connolly Drive to Wanneroo Road) and duplication of Hester Avenue from Hidden Valley Retreat to Wanneroo Road, to provide a connection to the new freeway extension.
The Premier said travel times through the area were expected to decrease by about 60 per cent on average and would help stimulate further investment in the north of Perth.
"Living down in Rockingham and commuting to the city every day, I know the pressure congestion can have on families. Less time commuting means more time spent at home with the family - and this can only be a good thing," Mr McGowan said.
Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said the newly constructed section of the major arterial road would now be much more efficient, particularly during afternoon peak periods.
"The project now provides a direct route between the suburbs north of Joondalup and the Perth central business district, ensuring the economic potential of the region isn't locked up in traffic each day," Mr Fletcher said.
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti thanked the community for their ongoing patience and understanding during construction and said the improvements to the Mitchell Freeway were part of a comprehensive plan to address congestion and create jobs.
"Access to the growing outer northern suburbs will be further bolstered by the future METRONET rail line to Yanchep," Ms Saffioti said.
Main Roads WA, the department responsible for managing the project, and CPB Contractors (formerly Leighton Contractors PTY LTD), introduced a number of sustainable and innovative elements to the Mitchell Freeway extension.
The use of roundabouts instead of traffic signals at the new Neerabup Road and Hester Avenue freeway interchanges will reduce maintenance and operating costs, while also improving traffic flow, safety and reducing vehicle emissions.
Sustainability features included the installation of LED lighting, wildlife underpasses at strategic locations and the use of recycled glass in the road base.