TRANSPORT Minister Bill Marmion says widening a 3km section of Wanneroo Road between Carramar and Neerabup is a high priority.
Mr Marmion visited the site last week after a request from Wanneroo MLA Paul Miles, who said he was lobbying the State Government to create a dual carriageway on the road from Joondalup to Flynn drives.
Main Roads WA has created additional lanes on Wanneroo Road from Flynn Drive to Hall Road and is upgrading the Wanneroo Road and Joondalup Drive intersection as part of the Mitchell Freeway extension project.
Mr Miles said a dual carriageway was one of the highest priorities for the electorate and believed it would be wasteful not to build it concurrently with existing works.
“If this is not done I believe that the benefits of these fantastic improvements will simply be wasted by commuters still coming to a stop as they merge into a single lane straight after Joondalup Drive,” he said.
Mr Marmion said Main Roads was investigating the potential project and he would seek funding for it.
“We’re actively engaging with Treasury at the moment to get some funding and certainly to get the project started,” he said.
“I’ll be seeking some allocation so we can start in 2017.
“Wanneroo Road is a major arterial road in WA; it’s a key road.”
Mayor Tracey Roberts wrote to Premier Colin Barnett in August last year requesting funding for the project but was told in a reply letter it was “not a priority”.
“However, it also stated that Main Roads was undertaking environmental studies and service utilities identification for the project and Main Roads would continue to seek funds to undertake the project in future budgets,” she said.
The City sent a letter in 2013 with the same request.
But Mr Marmion said there could now be scope for funding.
“That was a year ago; priorities change, also budgets change,” he said.
“We do have spare funds available for capital. This is obviously a priority.”
Mrs Roberts said the City had “serious concerns” about community safety on the section of road as it experienced a very high volume of traffic and the single carriageway was mostly not kerbed.
“The last five years’ crash history indicates 286 crashes occurred along this section of Wanneroo Road, resulting in two fatalities and around 67 crashes requiring hospital and/or medical treatment,” she said.
Butler MLA John Quigley argued it was a “stunt” and that the Government had no plans to dual the road.