CITY of Cockburn will keep the pressure on the new State Government to deliver on funding for the Armadale Road flyover bridge when the two parties meet this week.
New Premier Mark McGowan visited Cockburn Central in January to spruik Labor’s plans to scrap the Perth Freight Link (PFL) and re-direct funding to other “congestion-busting projects” if it won the March 11 State Election.
Among those projects was the $166 million Armadale Road flyover bridge linking Armadale Road with North Lake Road.
With work on Roe 8 – the first stage of the PFL – stopped, the City is now following up on a timeframe for this to occur.
City chief executive Stephen Cain said last week Cockburn was hopeful a meeting with new Transport Minister Rita Saffioti would occur “in the near future”.
A spokesman for Cockburn MLA Fran Logan confirmed that meeting was locked in for Thursday.
Mr Cain described the flyover as a “game changer” for Cockburn and Armadale residents, with the number of vehicle movements between the Kwinana Freeway and Solomon Road in Jandakot each day expected to boom to 47,700 in 2020, based on a 2013 district traffic study (DTS).
More than 100,000 vehicles travel through the gridlocked Cockburn Central precinct a day.
But it is not the only road project likely to be needed in the coming years.
A report presented to Cockburn councillors in 2015 suggested a stack of local road upgrades could be needed if Roe 8 was not built.
While the report suggested any conclusions drawn from the forecasts “should be made with care”, it found North Lake Road between Hammond and Phoenix roads would need be to widened to six lanes by 2020, with similar treatment for the Kwinana Freeway between Roe Highway and Rowley Road and Farrington Road between Bibra Drive and the Kwinana Freeway by 2031.
The City plans to spend about $280 million on its regional road network over the coming decade, with funding to come from developer contributions, the State Government, the Metropolitan Regional Road Group and it own savings.
“As is the normal course of events, the council would expect to receive reports with recommendations to address the traffic growth as and when required,” Mayor Logan Howlett said.
Mr Cain said the City regularly reviewed its DTS and would do so again now that the PFL had been scrapped.
Councillor Steve Portelli, a lone voice among his colleagues in favour of Roe 8, suggested the City work with councils south of Perth on a larger study.
He said Cockburn and Armadale’s Community Connect South campaign – a push to widen Armadale Road and secure funding for the flyover bridge – proved there were benefits to councils working together.
“I will be pushing for a new DTS to be done collaborating with Fremantle, Melville, Armadale and Kwinana,” he said.
“To date due to ideological differences we have both been belligerent towards each other.
“There are no excuses now with a sea of red south of the river.”
Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said Cr Portelli’s idea was interesting, although “a solid proposal would need to be brought to council”.
“With regards to the completion of Roe Highway and traffic infrastructure, there is without a doubt a difference of opinion between (Melville and Cockburn),” he said.
“However we now have a common problem with regards to traffic congestion that has to be dealt with in the absence of Roe Highway and the Perth Freight Link – Federal funding.”
“We need to work together to address these critical issues we now face.”
Mr Aubrey said more than 6500 signatures on a petition supporting Roe 8 showed there was support for it.
“This sends a clear message to the new State Government and confirms what I have been saying all along – that there are communities, families, and businesses in the southern suburbs who want Roe 8 to be built and are very concerned they will be negatively impacted if it does not go ahead,” he said.