End of road in sight

Work on the re-aligned Reid Highway-Lord Street intersection is expected to be finished in about eight weeks. Inset: An aerial map of work at the intersection.Main picture: Joel Kelly
Work on the re-aligned Reid Highway-Lord Street intersection is expected to be finished in about eight weeks. Inset: An aerial map of work at the intersection.Main picture: Joel Kelly

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

Reid Highway carries more than 25,000 vehicles a day through the Lord Street intersection.

More than 11 per cent of those are heavy trucks.

Vehicles turning right from Lord Street on to the highway are often confronted with a heavy stream of traffic in both directions, leading to some drivers having to run the gauntlet by crossing traffic when it is unsafe to do so. In the five years to 2012, there were 169 crashes at the intersection.

A re-alignment of the two major arterial roads and heavy earthworks has been taking place over the past three months.

A new T-junction, about 50m west of the exisiting 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 spokesman 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,’ he said.

Meanwhile, red tape has forced the City of Swan to push back its start date for the upgrade of Gnangara Road 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 still 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. The number of vehicles travelling east and westbound on the road has increased significantly in each of the two years since.