CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE: WA Roads $1 Billion …. Cycling $0 Billion?


A press release/statement from Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA) on May 23, 2011 indicates that $1 billion was allowed for Western Australian roads in the 2011-2012 State budget BUT there was no mention of cycling infrastructure in the same announcement. To my knowledge there has been no announcement from the State budget on cycling infrastructure. This begs the question: when are you we going to learn? When are we going to start thinking strategically about our future? Do we really believe that widening Mitchell Freeway northbound between Hepburn Avenue to Hodges Drive is seriously going to relive congestion on the afternoon commute to such an extent that justifies $30 million? At least the Honourable Minister for Transport, Troy Buswell does recognise that widening the southbound side will not relieve congestion. Some progress at least.

There is no mention of cycling infrastructure in the Minister’s press releases or the MRWA announcement, but hopefully the expansion of the Mitchell Freeway will see improvements in the Mitchell Principal Shared Path (PSP) and that other works will also see the construction/improvement of related cycling infrastructure.

The MRWA announcement is reproduced below with links to the Minister’s press releases.

The widening of Mitchell Freeway in Perth and the continued upgrade of Coalfields Highway in the South West are among key initiatives to be funded under the 2011/12 State Budget for roads.

$6m has been allocated towards the widening of Mitchell Freeway northbound from Hepburn Avenue to Hodges Drive (Honourable Minister for Transport, Troy Buswell announces State Budget allocation to Mitchell Freeway widening).  The widening project, which will increase the number of traffic lanes from two to three, would cost a total of $30m and will be completed in 2012/13.

At the same time, another $7.4m had been allocated for progressing the Coalfields Highway upgrade, this time between Collie and Wellington Dam turn-off. The total upgrading works along the highway are scheduled for completion in 2012/13 at a cost of $25m (Honourable Minister for Transport, Troy Buswell announces State Budget allocation to Coalfields Highway upgrade)

Other key initiatives include:

  • $1m in a package of $8million to begin planning and project development activities for the future construction of the Swan Valley Bypass. The bypass would relieve congestion on Great Northern Highway through Upper Swan as well as form part of the future new Perth-Darwin National Highway;
  • $35m for the Safer Roads and Bridges Program. The funding ensures continuation of the program, which targets road safety priorities and bridge improvements on major freight routes;
  • $20m for the State Black Spot Program to fund another 155 improvement projects throughout the State.
  • $2.5m for improvements to the South Street/Murdoch Drive intersection in Melville, to cater increased traffic volumes associated with the planned development of the Murdoch Activity Centre and Fiona Stanley Hospital. The improvements are scheduled for completion in 2013/14 at a cost of $15m.

Other highlights of the State Road Budget include:

Perth Metropolitan area:

  • Continuation of construction of the $113m interchange on Roe Highway at Great Eastern Highway in Midvale;
  • Completion of the $30m interchange on Reid Highway at Mirrabooka Avenue in Mirrabooka;
  • Commencement of the $325m upgrade of Great Eastern Highway, Kooyong Road to Tonkin Highway;
  • Commencement of the $58m widening of Kwinana Freeway between Leach Highway and Roe Highway;
  • Completion of the $14m Intelligent Transport Systems on Roe Highway, Midland/Kewdale to the Fremantle Port; and
  • Commencement of construction of the $16m Tonkin Highway on-ramp at Abernethy Road.

Regional WA:

  • Commencement of the $120m upgrade of the Coolgardie-Esperance Road and Esperance Port access route;
  • Continuation of the $90m extension of the dual carriageway on Dampier Highway from Karratha towards the Burrup Peninsula Road;
  • $44m for improvements on various State roads within the Grain Freight Network;
  • Commencement of construction of the $189m upgrade of Great Northern Highway at Port Hedland;
  • Commencement of construction of the $132m Bunbury Port Access Project comprising Stage 2 of the Bunbury Port Access Road and Stage 1 of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road; and
  • Commencement of the $16m upgrade of the Eelup traffic roundabout at Bunbury.
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