Commercial transport in Western Australia has been given a boost today with the opening of the biggest road infrastructure project in the state's history.
The $1.02 billion NorthLink WA is now fully open, providing a free-flowing link Morley and Muchea that doubles road capacity.
Journey times and productivity are expected to be improved as a result, with users travelling from Kewdale to Muchea now able to avoid up to 16 sets of traffic lights, two railway crossings and 21 speed limit changes.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the third and final section of the project - a 22-kilometre dual carriageway highway between Ellenbrook and Muchea - will transform how traffic enters and exits Perth from the state's north.
"The opening of the final section means road users, particularly freight, can now realise the full benefits of the 37-kilometre highway," the Prime Minister said.
"NorthLink WA has also supported around 7000 direct and indirect jobs for Western Australians throughout its construction."
WA Premier Mark McGowan said the the government had a huge pipeline of infrastructure planned for the north-eastern suburbs of Perth, including several major road upgrades and the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line that will help ease congestion.
"These are vital job-creating projects that will ensure WA is well-placed to respond in the economic recovery stage of the pandemic," McGowan said.
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said NorthLink WA was a vital, state-of-the-art transport link between Morley and Muchea that would support the north of Perth for generations.
So many areas of Perth will benefit, for example it will divert 80 per cent of heavy vehicles away from local roads and improving connection throughout the Swan Valley for residents and the 600,000 tourists visiting the area each year," Tudge said.
"The Morrison Government have prioritised the importance of keeping vital infrastructure projects on track through the Covid-19 crisis."
Western Australian Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said the new Tonkin Highway will be capable of carrying more than double the current number of vehicles.
"A round trip between the major freight hubs of Kewdale and Muchea will save around 20 minutes, which is a great boost to productivity," Saffioti said.
"Around 3200 trucks a day will be removed from Great Northern Highway south of Stock Road, which will provide a huge relief to residents, growers, tourism businesses and visitors in the Swan Valley.
"NorthLink WA has been a major feat of collaboration across successive governments, having initially been funded in the 2013 Federal Budget as the Swan Valley Bypass, and continued under the current State and Federal governments."
Federal Member for Pearce Christian Porter said the project would also significantly reduce heavy vehicle traffic on Great Northern Highway through the Swan Valley tourism region, enabling a safer road environment for visitors and local businesses.
"One of the many benefits of NorthLink WA's latest section is that it will take trucks and heavy vehicles off Great Northern Highway, reducing congestion and making roads safer along the beautiful Swan Valley," Porter said.
"Our northern suburbs have always been great places to live and work, but the unprecedented investment behind key infrastructure projects like NorthLink WA has made them even more accessible and primed for future growth."Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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