“Main Roads has done modelling which indicates with small capital costs at the Canning Highway and Stirling Highway intersection that work will not be required until 2026,” Mr Nalder said, when the Western Suburbs Weekly asked about funding and planning for the PFL over the river, through North Fremantle to Fremantle Port.
PFL supporters were bolstered last week when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced $260 million for a proposed 3km, $325 million tunnel from Hilton to East Fremantle, 1km south of the river, to avoid a highly opposed overground route for the 16km PFL.
After National Party opposition stalled the proposed $2 billion sale of the port, the PFL will now cost about $1.9 billion to cut several minutes from the time to truck a container to the Forrestfield train terminal.
Rethink the Link spokeswoman Kim Dravnieks said a tunnel remained uncertain because it could need a Metropolitan Regional Scheme amendment in Parliament.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said it did not solve the “main problem” of truck congestion after the vehicles emerged in East Fremantle.
Mr Nalder said modifying the Stirling-Canning highways’ intersection would manage tunnel traffic over Stirling Bridge. Details about the tunnel would be provided in community consultation in “coming weeks and months”.
However, the lack of details about the PFL’s final stage has annoyed North Fremantle residents.
“If they are not doing anything for 10 years they’re not actually improving trucks’ access to the port because this is a choke point, so they’d better do something about starting to build a new outer harbour in Kwinana,” North Fremantle Residents Association convenor Gerard MacGill said.
Mr MacGill said voters deserved answers about the third stage before the 2017 State Election because it was also planned to realign the southern end of Curtin Avenue from Cottesloe by 2018, leaving North Fremantle potentially “imprisoned” between truck routes. Resident Ann Forma said 30 years of “hard work” creating North Fremantle’s heritage centre was now “seriously jeopardised”.