News, Road upgrades, Western Australia

Final section of Albany Ring Road opened over the weekend

The biggest road infrastructure project ever undertaken in Western Australia’s Great Southern region was officially opened on Sunday, with traffic now flowing through the final piece of the puzzle.

The ring road delivers a free-flowing, 11-kilometre connection between the original section of Menang Drive east of Albany Highway and Princess Royal Drive, including three grade-separated interchanges at Albany Highway, South Coast Highway and Hanrahan Road.

The northern section of the ring road, between Albany Highway and South Coast Highway, as well as the new Frenchman Bay Road interchange, opened to traffic before Easter, resulting in an immediate improvement in traffic flow.

The final section between South Coast Highway and Hanrahan Road/Frenchman Bay Road opened to traffic on Sunday, May 19.

An official opening took place over the weekend. Image: Rita Saffioti

The new road will divert heavy vehicles around Albany, aiming to improve freight efficiency in and around Albany Port.

It will also significantly improve traffic flow on the existing road network by reducing heavy vehicles on Albany Highway, South Coast Highway and Chester Pass Road.

There are currently hundreds of trucks moving to and from the port each day, which increases significantly during harvest. The Albany Ring Road will take these trucks away from the local road network.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said: “The issue of heavy vehicles having to use local roads to access the port has long been a concern.

“Removing heavy vehicles from the existing local network will improve safety on Chester Pass Road, Albany Highway and South Coast Highway.

“The new ring road will support the future economic growth of Albany and the Great Southern region by making truck movements to and from the Port of Albany as efficient as possible.”

The completed ring road will be known as Menang Drive, in recognition of the Menang Noongar people, the area’s traditional owners.

The state government has also committed to a new flyover at the intersection of Menang Drive and Chester Pass Road.

The new flyover will maximise the efficiency of the Albany Ring Road route by providing free-flowing access from Chester Pass Road all the way to the port.

The $225 million project is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, with the Australian Government contributing $173 million, including an additional $33 million funded in the 2024-25 Federal Budget.

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