Thomas Road in Perth’s south eastern suburbs is set to receive some major upgrades, with $100 million in State and Federal funding committed to improvements that aim to drive greater safety and efficiency.
Thousands of vehicles use the busy stretch of road each day. 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,” he 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.”
$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 the $100 million, over $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.
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.”