AFTER more than two years and $236 million spent, the Mitchell Freeway extension is set to open today to help ease congestion for northern suburbs drivers.
Federal, State and local politicians are expected at today’s ribbon cutting ceremony for the 6km stretch of road before its anticipated opening to traffic tomorrow morning.
Work to extend the freeway from Burns Beach Road to Hester Avenue started in May 2015, with the Federal Government contributing $209.1 million to the project.
It features roundabout-controlled interchanges at Neerabup Road and Hester, 5km of residential noise walls and shared paths along the freeway connecting to train stations.
The on time and under budget project also comprised the widening of sections of Wanneroo Road and Hester Avenue, extension of Neerabup Road from Connolly Drive to Wanneroo Road, and upgrade of the Wanneroo and Joondalup Drive intersection.
It included some trials for Main Roads, including the use of LED streetlights and a WA-first sustainability measure incorporating crushed glass into the road sub-base on a section of Wanneroo Road.
Cold applied plastic was used for white line markings to increase their lifespan and fauna underpasses for wildlife have been created along Neerabup and Wanneroo Roads.
Main Roads is expected to open the freeway for public use before peak hour tomorrow morning, dependent on weather.
UPDATE, 2.50am, August 4: Main Roads confirms Mitchell Freeway extension will open to traffic at 4am today.
According to its website, the extension from Burns Beach Road to Hester Avenue will be open to the travelling public from about 4am on Friday, August 4.
It asks motorists to “follow signs and signals on the new road network and move through the area with caution”.
“The new 6 km section of freeway provides a direct access to and from Neerabup Road and Hester Avenue in Clarkson – some lane restrictions remain in place on Neerabup Road between Connolly Drive and the freeway,” it said.
“Roundabout controlled bridge intersections are in operation at Neerabup Road and Hester Avenue.
“To improve connectivity, Neerabup Road has been extended from Connolly Drive to Wanneroo Road and a new intersection will be operating at the Wanneroo Road / Flynn Drive / Neerabup Road intersection.
“This means road users will be able to exit the new freeway at Neerabup Road and continue east for direct access to Wanneroo Road and Flynn Drive or west for direct access to Connolly Drive.
“Hester Avenue (between Hidden Valley Retreat and Wanneroo Road) and Wanneroo Road (between Hall Road and Hester Avenue) also follow improved layouts, having been widened to two lanes in each direction.”
Main Roads has advised that traffic management and lane closures will remain in place at the Hester Avenue and Wanneroo Road junction, on Neerabup Road between Connolly Drive and Mitchell Freeway and on the principal shared path in Clarkson during August.
“As these work areas will be located adjacent to live traffic, some traffic management such as lane closures and a reduced speed limit will be required. Should road closures be required, information will be available in advance,” it said.