The Perth Freight Link will receive a boost with the construction of a 3 kilometre tunnel to link the port of Fremantle with the rest of Western Australia. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was in Perth today, announced that $260 million of Federal Government funds would go towards the tunnel project. “This is such a great day for improving Perth’s infrastructure, its connectivity to the world and its connectivity within the city” said Mr Turnbull. “[The tunnel] will link Perth and Western Australia and all of the goods, all of the exports that come to that berth of Fremantle.”
The tunnel, which will connect the intersections of Stock and Winterfold Roads with the junction of Stirling Highway and High Street in Fremantle, will link Perth and the rest of Western Australia with the port city of Fremantle. The announcement means that $326 million will be added to total project costs for the Perth Freight Link, which now top $1.9 billion.
Construction of the tunnel will replace plans for a surface upgrade of Stock Road and Leach Highway and will save homes by avoiding the need to demolish buildings in Beaconsfield and White Gum Valley, according to WA Transport Minister Dean Nalder. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the tunnel would reduce the impact on properties and improve productivity and safety in a “major win for local residents and freight operators”.
Furthermore, it is expected that there will be minimal disruption to residents during the tunnel’s construction. However, as the tunnel is planned to be built under around 120 to 140 houses, the Government has stated they plan to engage an independent expert to assess and inspect homes in the path of the tunnel to ensure no damage is caused by construction.
The Perth Freight Link, which has been the subject of delays, represents a much-needed upgrade to road infrastructure in Western Australia and will be of benefit to our state’s logistics industry. Earlier this year, Infrastructure Australia identified the Perth Freight Link as one of the nation’s 2 highest priority projects, ‘high priority’ meaning a project addressing ‘major problems or opportunities of national significance’.
Currently, the roads connecting the ports of Fremantle to Perth and Western Australia, which are largely serviced by trucks and heavy vehicles, are located in close proximity to residential areas and are inadequate to meet the needs of freight transportation. The tunnel is expected to cut road deaths, increase house values and improve the quality of life for thousands of residents. Beginning to End Logistics supports the construction of the tunnel as a boost to the state’s infrastructure and a benefit to the WA logistics industry, residents and commuters.
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