Red tape causes road block

Heavy vehicles on Gnangara Road.
Heavy vehicles on Gnangara Road.

Construction of the dual carriageway between Alexander Drive and Beechboro Road was expected to start in the middle of the year. But the State Government is yet to table a request in Parliament to acquire the state forest necessary for the City of Swan to start work.

Work has almost finished on the installation of temporary traffic lights at the busy intersection of Beechboro Road North and Gnangara Road ” a junction described in recent RAC surveys as ‘among the worst in the metropolitan area’.

That project is expected to be finished early next month.

But Transport Minister Dean Nalder said construction of the dual carriageway section of Gnangara Road was fully dependent on parliamentary approval.

He said it was ‘quite possible’ the project would not start until the end of the year.

‘Within the next couple of months we expect it to go through Parliament,’ he said.

‘We obviously want to get that going as quickly as we can but we’ve got to go through the proper processes. As soon as we get the green light, we’re going to push ahead with it.’

As a local government road, the City of Swan is responsible for requesting the state forest acquisition for the duplication works.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) arranges for the Minister of Environment to submit the proposal to Parliament once the City has completed all necessary formalities required as part of the State Forest Excision Procedure Guide.

A DPaW spokesman said the council’s request was ‘well advanced’ and it expected the submission would be presented to Parliament ‘within the next few months’.

A second carriageway on Gnangara Road will be built on new ground parallel with the existing roadway alignment, which will allow traffic flow to continue during road works

City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said no timeframe had been guaranteed by the DPaW on obtaining Parliamentary approval.

‘The City has worked closely with Department of Parks and Wildlife throughout the upgrade of Gnangara Road to ensure that the land excision progresses as smoothly and as quickly as possible,’ he said.

‘Commencement of the road upgrade and lane duplication depends on gaining approval for the state forest excision.

‘This will affect the start date, however the City will endeavour to complete the work as soon as possible.’