The extension, which is expected to be finished in July, will connect the two estates, providing secondary access road for each and possibly opening the door to a new bus service.
It comes as a relief to many Caversham residents who have voiced concerns recently about how the estates would cope with just one access road during an emergency.
West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti said the extension of Suffolk Street was a major issue for residents who wanted improved east-west connectivity and second access routes out of each of these estates.
‘Estates such as the Bennett Street Estate have only one entry and exit point, which has always been a serious concern for residents, particularly in the case of bushfires and other emergencies,’ Ms Saffioti said.
The City of Swan now follows WA Planning Commission’s guidelines that require residential subdivisions to have dual entry and exit points.
According to City chief executive Mike Foley, the Planning for Bushfire Protection Edition 2 was not applicable because the estate was not in a designated fire prone area.
‘Dual entry points have been included in the structure plan and developer’s contribution plan however, as is also the case with other infrastructure in Greenfields developments, not all assets are in place at the outset,’ Mr Foley said.
‘They are constructed once a trigger point ” in this case a volume of traffic ” is reached.’
Ms Saffioti said further transport benefits could be in the pipeline for Caversham residents once the extension was completed.
‘I have also received advice from the Minister for Transport that implementing future bus services in Caversham is contingent upon Suffolk Street being constructed,’ Ms Saffioti said.
The thoroughfare is expected to alleviate congestion for city-bound commuters from Brookleigh estate.
Instead of trying to turn right on to West Swan Road, motorists can now travel through Suffolk Street to get to Bennett Street and onto Benara Road.
Mr Foley said the Suffolk Park developer was undertaking the work to connect Suffolk Street to Patricia Street.