$100 million transformation planned for Thomas Road around Byford
The Australian and Western Australian governments are working together on a $100 million transformation of Thomas Road in Perth's south eastern suburbs.
The busy road, that runs through Perth's booming south eastern suburbs, is used by thousands of commuters daily and more than $100 million has been allocated for upgrades that will improve safety and efficiency.
$30 million of additional funding has been allocated to upgrades at the intersection of Thomas Road and Kargotich Road in Oakford.
Originally, this intersection upgrade was earmarked as a single lane roundabout with $3 million allocated through the Black Spots Program.
The additional funding means an extra $6 million has been allocated to the project, upgrading the roundabout from a single lane to a dual lane, with work to commence next year.
The remainder of the funds will be used to undertake a range of safety improvements, including $5 million towards the installation of street lighting as well as low cost shoulder widening works on Thomas Road between Cumming Road and Tonkin Highway, which have been shown to greatly reduce the chance of crashes.
Upgrades will be undertaken at the intersection of Thomas Road and Nicholson Road, with a new two lane roundabout to be installed to improve safety and traffic efficiency for the 19,000 vehicles that pass through the intersection daily.
Early works are underway on the construction of a new bridge on Thomas Road over the existing rail corridor. This will be the first level crossing between Armadale and Byford to be reconfigured to accommodate the long anticipated METRONET Byford Rail Extension.
The Thomas Road over rail bridge will include two lanes in each direction and will facilitate the extension of the Armadale Line by around 8km down to Byford.
The $52 million project is expected to be completed towards the end of 2022 and has been fast tracked to assist with Western Australia's economic recovery from COVID-19.
In addition, planning is also progressing to provide a dual carriageway on the one-kilometre section of Thomas Road immediately east of Kwinana Freeway, in anticipation of a commercial sector development that will create and support local jobs. These works will commence in late 2021.
On top of this $100 million, more than $500 million has been allocated to extend Tonkin Highway from Thomas Road in Oakford to South Western Highway, south-east of Mundijong.
This will provide improved access to growing residential areas, industry, the airport and the freeway. Extensive planning and development work is well underway with construction to start in late 2021 subject to environmental and statutory approvals.
Safety improvement upgrades on a busy 4.3km section of Thomas Road, between Kwinana Freeway and Cumming Road in Anketell were completed in the first half of the year.
Improvement works included shoulder widening and resurfacing along with the installation of new line markings and raised road pavement markers. The upgrades significantly improved safety for road users on this stretch of road, which has seen 114 reported crashes in the five years to December 2019.
Road planning is also underway to help develop the potential long-term future of the Thomas and Anketell Road freight corridor, from the proposed Kwinana Outer Harbour site to Tonkin Highway.
Premier Mark McGowan said his Government was focused on delivering tangible benefits and upgrades for those living in the south-eastern suburbs.
"My Government's number one priority has always been local jobs and this transformation of Thomas Road will provide numerous employment opportunities as well as benefits to local businesses, supporting our economy through COVID-19.
"The population of Byford is set to boom over the coming decade and it's important we properly plan for that growth with the infrastructure for tomorrow."
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the upgrades will improve safety and efficiency.
"The Morrison Government has prioritised critical infrastructure and that also means jobs for hard working West Australians," Mr Tudge said.
"Along with the Tonkin Highway Extension and Byford Rail Extension, it will also mean more jobs and greater economic opportunity in our region."
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said these upgrades would transform Thomas Road and change the way people in Byford and the south-eastern suburbs travel.
"These upgrades will completely transform the area and improve safety and efficiency for the thousands of drivers who use Thomas Road every day," she said.
"The removal of the Thomas Road level crossing is the first step in the Byford Rail Extension which will give people in Byford better connections to work, school and fun."
Federal Member for Canning Andrew Hastie welcomed the upgrades, saying they would make a big difference to road safety for the local community.
"As I've been saying for many years, infrastructure development in Byford over the past decade has not kept up with the explosion in population," Mr Hastie said.
"Our community has put up with thousands of daily commuters and heavy trucks travelling on what are often basically country roads. This isn't safe and it has led to many accidents.
"I'm very pleased to see this investment into our region by the Commonwealth Government begin to enter the construction phase. The Thomas Road upgrades - particularly to the Kargotich and Nicholson Road intersections - will make our community much safer.