Orrong Road’s below-ground expressway of the future

What the Orrong Road Expressway could look like.
What the Orrong Road Expressway could look like.

ORRONG Road could become Perth’s first underground expressway as authorities ponder the best long-term solution to calm the ever-industrious road’s traffic snarls.

Such a below-ground expressway would enable a 3km stretch of road to be free of traffic lights and intersections, fast-tracking the commute between Leach Highway and Great Eastern Highway to as short as five minutes.

At ground level, cross roads Francisco Street, Roberts Road, Alexander Road, Archer Street, Wright Street, Oats Street and President Street would remain to connect local suburbs and ensure access to homes and businesses in Lathlain, Carlisle, Rivervale and Kewdale.

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An expressway forms a key plank in two of the three proposals being pitched in a Main Roads WA concept video.

The agency’s preference includes a bridge over Leach Highway, allowing Orrong Road expressway traffic to continue uninhibited through Welshpool to Roe Highway.

An alternative is for the expressway to carry around and join Leach Highway, which would flow cars towards Perth Airport but would come at high cost for residents living near the intersection in Kewdale, whose homes would be in the ramp’s path.

Local motorists would be able to enter and exit the expressway via freeway-style on and off ramps at some of the crossroads.

The third option, expanding Orrong Road from four lanes to six, is comparably simple but considered unviable, with Main Roads WA suggesting it would save little or no travel time while requiring additional land space for roads.

With up to 65,000 vehicles per day, Orrong Road usage has already passed the capacity for a four-lane distributor road.

Main Roads WA will incorporate feedback into a road requirement submission it will prepare for the WA Planning Commission.