Hester extension to help

Councillors unanimously supported a motion by Mayor Tracey Roberts last Tuesday to ask the State Government to spend any spare funds from the freeway contract on the extra 5.5km.

With an announcement for the contract to design and build the extension to Hester Avenue expected in March, Mrs Roberts said it should extend further.

‘The City welcomes the early commencement of the Mitchell Freeway extension project,’ she said.

‘With the proposed extension to Hester Avenue, the traffic patterns will result in increased traffic along Hester Avenue.

‘The scope of works for the freeway extension project should be increased to include the section from Hester Avenue to Romeo Road.’

Mrs Roberts said the freeway extension would take pressure off existing roads, Marmion Avenue and Wanneroo Road.

But she said ending it at Hester would have a negative impact on the communities of Merriwa and surrounding suburbs, particularly the Mindarie school precinct and RAAFA Cambrai retirement village.

Several councillors spoke in favour of the extra extension, saying they too had concerns about the increased traffic on Hester Avenue.

In the Times last month, Carabooda residents called for the City to extend Romeo Road from Wanneroo Road to Marmion Avenue.

Mrs Roberts said extending the freeway to Romeo Road would prompt early construction of that east-west link.

The mayor said the City had listed the section between the future freeway and Wanneroo Road in its 10-year capital works program, but the section west to Marmion Avenue was the responsibility of land developers.

Wanneroo MLA Paul Miles said he supported extending the freeway beyond Hester Avenue if the tender was under budget.

‘We have budgeted $320 million (over four years) ” if the tender is not going to be spending that full $320 million, then extend the freeway further north,’ he said.

Mr Miles said north of Hester, the freeway would be built to a highway standard, with narrower emergency lanes than a freeway.

According to Main Roads WA, the current scope of works is to build 6km of freeway from Burns Beach Road to Hester Avenue, with construction to start in early 2016 and end in late 2017.

The 2012 strategic business case, developed with community working group input, recommended extending the freeway to Romeo Road.