THE northern suburbs landscape has been transformed as the Mitchell Freeway extension project nears completion.
Most of the 6km road from Burns Beach Road to Hester Avenue has been laid as the project moves to its final stages.
During a tour of the site this week, the Weekender also travelled along the extended Neerabup Road that connects to Wanneroo Road, viewed the built dogbone shaped roundabout interchanges at Neerabup and Hester, and nearly completed shared paths along the new roads.
Main Roads project director Chris Raykos said he expected work to finish by the end of July.
“Most of the significant construction works have been completed and there’s little bits and pieces of work, filling work, asphalting, signs, cleaning up, those fiddly bits that are sometimes time-consuming,” he said.
“The project is coming in on time and well under budget.”
He was keen for people to see some of the modern aspects of the development, including the use of LED streetlights, which he said was relatively new in WA.
Main Roads has also used cold applied plastic for white line markings to increase their lifespan, created fauna underpasses for wildlife along Neerabup and Wanneroo roads and used ground glass in one of the pavement layers on Wanneroo Road for sustainability purposes.
Mr Raykos said the upgrades to Wanneroo Road and Joondalup Drive intersection were expected to be finished “well before the freeway is open” and described it as a “short-term solution” to ease congestion before the overpass promised by the State Government is built by the end of 2019.
“We’ve minimised the costs that we’ve put into that intersection knowing that we would ultimately grade separate it…just to keep it operational for a period of up to five years and by that stage the interchange will be in operation,” he said.
Mr Raykos said he was excited for the culmination of the project, particularly as a local resident.
“I get a big kick out of it, I enjoy what I do and seeing something like this come to life,” he said.
“I’ve seen it right from the start just from a document, a business case, right through to now.”