Safer intersection ready by June

Work on the realigned Reid Highway-Lord Street T-intersection.
Work on the realigned Reid Highway-Lord Street T-intersection.

Main Roads WA said this week the project should be finished by the middle of June.

Reid Highway carries more than 25,000 vehicles per day through the Lord Street intersection and more than 11 per cent of those are heavy trucks.

Vehicles turning right from Lord Street onto the highway are often confronted with a heavy traffic in both directions, leading to some drivers having to run the gauntlet by crossing traffic when it is unsafe.

In the five years to 2012, there were 169 crashes at the intersection.

A realignment of the two major, arterial roads and heavy earthworks has been taking place over the past three months. A new T-intersection, about 50m west of the current intersection, will feature traffic lights and two right turning lanes from westbound Reid Highway into Lord Street. There will also be two right turning lanes from Lord Street south on to Reid Highway.

A Main Roads spokesperson said the safety and efficiency at the busy junction would be ‘significantly improved’ by the work.

‘Combined with the City of Swan’s plans to complete the dual carriageways on Gnangara Road, the intersection upgrade will significantly improve the performance of the local road network in this rapidly growing area and address safety issues associated with increasing traffic,’ the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, bureaucratic red tape has forced the City of Swan to push back its start date for the Gnangara Road upgrade between Drumpellier Drive and Beechboro Road North.

City chief executive Mike Foley said there had been ‘significant delays’ in the project due to a lengthy State forest excision process, to allow Gnangara Road to be widened.

He said construction works were now not scheduled to begin until early next year.

It is understood the acquisition of the State forest land needs to be signed off by the Department of Parks and Wildlife and Premier Colin Barnett before it can be referred to State Parliament for approval.

However, Mr Foley said the project remained on track and had been fully funded.

The City intends to press ahead with its installation of temporary traffic lights at the intersection of Beechboro Road North and Gnangara Road, once work on the Lord Street-Reid Highway project has been completed. That intersection topped the list of ‘Risky Roads’ in an RAC survey of Perth’s worst intersections in 2011 and was placed fourth in 2012.

There were more than 370 crashes on the heavily traversed Gnangara Road between 2007 and 2011 and the number of vehicles travelling east and westbound on the road has increased significantly in each of the two years since.

GNANGARA RD DAMAGE TRAIL
Road accidents (2007-2011)
2011 – 74 crashes
2010 – 84 crashes
2009 – 77 crashes
2008 – 56 crashes
2007 – 86 crashes
TOTAL: 377 crashes in five years or an average of 1.45 per week
– Work on the realigned Reid Highway-Lord Street T-intersection is expected to be finished in about eight weeks.