Call to fix treacherous road

WANNEROO councillors cited several fatal and serious crashes on Wanneroo Road as reasons to widen a section north of Joondalup Drive.

North ward councillor and Carramar resident Norm Hewer put a motion on the August 18 agenda for the City to ask the State Government to upgrade the road between Joondalup Drive and Flynn Drive.

Cr Hewer said he had been pushing for a dual carriageway for the past 15 years since his doctor’s family was in a crash there.

“My GP lost his wife and his wife’s parents in a tragic accident,” he said.

“His three children also sustained serious injuries and spent seven months recovering in Princess Margaret Hospital.”

Cr Hewer said there had been two other fatal crashes on that stretch and six crashes where people needed hospital treatment in the past two-and-a-half years.

While Main Roads WA plans to create a dual carriageway north of the realigned Flynn Drive intersection, Cr Hewer said there were no plans yet to widen the section south of it.

Having taken similar steps twice before, he gained unanimous support at the August 18 council meeting to see the 2.5km stretch turned into a dual carriageway when Main Roads resumes upgrades to the intersection with Flynn Drive and Neerabup Road.

Cr Frank Cvitan said he knew someone who died on that stretch after mistaking it for a dual carriageway and crossing onto the wrong side of the road.

Main Roads WA spokesman Dean Roberts said the department had investigated the possibility of widening the road and would consider it as a high priority project through the annual budgetary process.

Mr Roberts said traffic modelling indicated several improvements at the Wanneroo Road and Joondalup Drive intersection would improve traffic flow.

“(Those include an) additional right-turn lane on Joondalup Drive west for south-bound traffic, additional left-turn lane on Joondalup Drive west (and) extending the right-turn pocket on Joondalup Drive east for north-bound traffic,” he said.

“It is anticipated that the opening of the extension of Mitchell Freeway to Hester Avenue (in 2017) will reduce traffic volumes on Wanneroo Road between Joondalup Drive and Flynn Drive.”

Mr Roberts said a federal announcement in May of $209.1 million for the $261.4 million freeway extension had allowed the State Government to redirect its funds to other projects.

He said that project would include a 6km dual carriage freeway with capacity to expand to three lanes, and interchanges at Burns Beach Road, Neerabup Road and Hester Avenue.

Upgrades to the Joondalup Drive and Wanneroo Road intersection will also form part of those works. Mr Roberts said work on the Flynn Drive realignment would resume in late 2015 and finish by the end of 2016.

“The extension of Neerabup Road from Connolly Drive to Wanneroo Road is expected to be completed and opened to traffic by mid-2017,” he said.

In his report to the council, Cr Hewer said Wanneroo Road experienced increasing traffic volumes since Indian Ocean Drive opened.

“The Neerabup industrial estate’s continued growth has also generated increased industrial and commercial traffic,” he said.

“Dual carriageway construction and upgrading works on Wanneroo Road to the current road design standards will improve road safety along this section.”