Decision imminent on Murdoch Drive extension

Bibra Lake Residents Association secretary Michelle Barnett with Tom Barnett, City of Cockburn councillor Chontelle Sands, Bibra Lake Residents Association president Christine Cooper and Cockburn councillor Phil Eva.
Bibra Lake Residents Association secretary Michelle Barnett with Tom Barnett, City of Cockburn councillor Chontelle Sands, Bibra Lake Residents Association president Christine Cooper and Cockburn councillor Phil Eva.

THE State Government is expected to sign off on the final layout for the Murdoch Drive Connection within days.

The $100 million project will link Murdoch Drive south from Farrington Road to Roe Highway.

Main Roads WA (MRWA) said in October a design for the road, which will carry 50,000 vehicles by 2021, looked settled.

But MRWA spokesman Dean Roberts said Thursday that while 90 per cent of the concept had been confirmed, work was still being done to determine the “appropriate form of connectivity between the western end of the project and the existing local road network”.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti has two options on the table, including one favoured by MRWA that allows motorists to enter and exit the new connection from Bibra Drive in Bibra Lake.

The other, favoured by the City of Cockburn, would only let drivers enter the new road from Bibra Drive, with those exiting the connection from Roe Highway to be pushed down Murdoch Drive towards Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Cockburn chief executive Stephen Cain said its option caused the least impact on local roads.

“The City was not given any advance notice of this project and has been trying to shape an outcome that has the least impact on our residents,” he said.

“The City is working collaboratively with all major stakeholders while trying to get the best outcome for Cockburn residents.”

Bibra Lake Residents Association president Christine Cooper said the group had hurriedly gathered more than 500 signatures for a petition backing Cockburn’s preferred option.

“We’ve been advised by the Minister for Transport’s office that they will sign off on either option within a very short space of time,” she said.

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said his council favoured MRWA’s preferred design, believing it to be a compromise that directs non-local traffic away from an area already bustling with cars.

“It’s a sensible design,” he said.

A spokesman for Ms Saffioti confirmed there were two options on the table although there was no timeframe for a decision.

With activity underway to prepare the site for construction in the New Year, a decision looks close.

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