Lord Street upgrade in limbo: Ellenbrook

The four-lane upgrade of Lord Street cannot go ahead until the State Government commits to funding.
The four-lane upgrade of Lord Street cannot go ahead until the State Government commits to funding.

ELLENBROOK residents face further congestion on Lord Street because the State Government is yet to commit funds for the road’s four-lane upgrade.

The City of Swan wrote to Transport Minister Dean Nalder in July, saying staff were becoming concerned there had been no funding commitment from the Government.

When asked in Parliament last month, Jim Chown, Parliamentary Secretary representing the Transport Minister, also avoided providing a timeline for the project.

The Advocate last week revealed the City of Swan would instead push ahead with the upgrade of Henley Brook Avenue through to Reid Highway within two years, even though Lord Street was considered the most urgent road in need of upgrade in the area.

Lord Street is tied to State funding because it is identified on the Metropolitan Region Scheme, but Henley Brook Avenue will be funded by the City and developer contribution plans.

Recent counts show nearly 20,000 cars a day use Lord Street.

Swan chief executive Mike Foley said the City was working closely with Main Roads.

“However, ultimately the timing of any upgrade works on Lord Street is at the discretion of Main Roads and is tied to the availability of funding,” he said.

The Department of Transport has requested funding approval to build Lord Street within the corridor originally set aside for the Perth-Darwin Northern Highway.

“An agreed alignment and carriageway configuration needs to be established to accommodate road users and public transport needs,” Mr Foley said.

“Once this has been finalised, funding for the land acquisitions, service relocations and construction of the road network needs to be arranged.”

When the alignment of the Perth-Darwin Highway was shifted away from Lord Street several years ago, no money was allocated for the road upgrade.

West Swan MLA and Opposition transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said Lord Street was at breaking point and had to be funded immediately.

“When the Government realigned the Perth Darwin Highway, they had an obligation to provide funding and a plan to upgrade Lord Street to four lanes,” she said.

“Henley Brook residents are also continually faced with cars doing rat runs, and making local roads very dangerous for residents.”

Ms Saffioti said the Government was expecting to make savings in the announcement of the winning tender for the Northlink overpasses construction.

“Part of any savings from the construction of these bridges must immediately go into upgrading Lord Street,” she said.

The Advocate contacted Main Roads for comment but they did not respond before deadline.