Midland freight routes ‘over capacity’, bridge at a standstill

Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright says the changes will ensure balanced representation for electors
Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright says the changes will ensure balanced representation for electors

MIDLAND’S freight routes are “over capacity”, prompting the City of Swan to lobby for the State Government to inject $35 million to complete the Lloyd Street extension to Hazelmere.

City chief executive Mike Foley said the connection of Lloyd Street from Clayton Street, under the rail line and over the Helena River to the Great Eastern Highway Bypass would provide alternative access into the Midland CBD and act as a major connector road to the primary and secondary road network.

Mr Foley said despite assurances from Main Roads, the State Government had not committed to the project in forward estimates.

“On November 29, 2012, the City received a letter from the Main Roads Commissioner confirming funding for stage one of the Lloyd Street extension from Great Eastern Highway to Clayton Street, and committing to funding in the 2016-17 forward estimates for the construction of stage two from Clayton Street to Bushmead Road, including the bridge over the Helena River,” he said.

“However, the State Government is yet to commit to the project in the forward estimates, despite these assurances from the former Commissioner.”

Mr Foley said the funding was expected to be allocated in the 2013-14 state budget and made available in 2016-17.

“Work to complete stage one of the project through to Abernethy Road continues and is expected to be complete by mid-2019,” he said.

“However, the project cannot be completed in full until stage two, including the bridge, has been funded.”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said there was never any funding allocation.

“There was no funding allocation, in the forward estimates or otherwise, made by the previous government to construct stage two of the Lloyd Street extension, including the bridge over the Helena River,” she said.

“The State Government recognises Midland as an important urban hub in the east metropolitan area.

“Traffic management in the Midland CBD, in particular around Great Eastern Highway, is currently being examined as part of a study in co-operation with Main Roads and other stakeholders.”

Ms Saffioti said the recent announcement of a $70 million dual carriageway upgrade of Reid Highway and the $86 million interchange for Roe Highway and Kalamunda Road was expected to significantly improve traffic and safety in the eastern suburbs, particularly for freight.

“While the Lloyd Street bridge project was not a McGowan government commitment, we will be considering the project as part of upcoming budgets,” she said.

Mr Foley said the City would continue to liaise with the current State and Federal governments to secure funding and a commitment to build the bridge and fully complete the Lloyd Street extension.

“A bridge over the Helena River would provide a simple solution to the area’s currently convoluted freight routes that are now over-capacity,” he said.

“The extension of Lloyd Street would also directly link Midland with the industrial areas of Forrestfield, Kewdale and Perth Airport.

“Additionally, the development would provide a gateway to Midland’s vibrant medical, university and historic workshops precinct.

“The City also anticipates it would open up industrial land, reduce congestion and boost local employment opportunities.”

Mr Foley said when Lloyd Street was fully constructed it was expected to carry 18,000 vehicles per day, increasing to 22,100 vehicles per day by 2031.

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