THE State Government has released details of its plan to upgrade the Wanneroo and Ocean Reef roads intersection.
Transport Minister Bill Marmion last week announced the Government would build a traffic bridge on Wanneroo Road to pass over Ocean Reef Road, with on and off-ramps for traffic access to both roads.
He said $5 million was committed for the project development and early construction phase, with $20 million being provided by the Federal Government.
Cost of the grade separation was given as between $40 million and $50 million in State Parliament last September.
Mr Marmion said he expected the outlay to be $50 million and final costs would be considered as part of the 2017-18 budget.
“Up to 80,000 vehicles pass through this intersection each day; the bridge will significantly improve traffic movement through the area and reduce delays during peak periods,” he said.
“This interchange has been planned for more than 20 years and growth in the area has now reached a point where commencement of this project is considered necessary.”
He anticipated construction would start in mid-2018 and finish by mid to late 2019.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan announced earlier this month that if elected in March, his party would build overpasses at both the Ocean Reef Road and Joondalup Drive intersections with Wanneroo Road, committing $45 million and $50 million for the projects respectively.
Construction would start at Ocean Reef Road at the end of the year and at Joondalup Drive in 2018, using money saved from cancelling Roe 8 and Perth Freight Link.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti slammed the Government’s announcement, calling it a “copycat” move and questioning how it would fund the remainder of the project.
“We question their level of commitment given they have only 50 per cent funded this project,” she said.
Ms Saffioti said the Government had until recently maintained the overpass was not needed until 2031 and said she was concerned they were making commitments without having full funding for projects.
It followed the Government’s December announcement to provide $30 million for a dual carriageway along Wanneroo Road north of Joondalup Drive, with $10 million allocated in the mid-year review for the project.
“Yet again they’ve underfunded the commitment,” she said.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen this approach taken.
“It’s clear this is a rushed announcement.”