Why does Orrong Road need upgrading?

Since Graham Farmer Freeway opened, traffic volumes on Orrong Road have increased significantly and it currently operates at capacity, with up to 65,000 vehicles per day west of Francisco Street. Orrong Road will become an important link between the consolidated airport and the Perth CBD, with traffic volumes forecast to increase to 100,000 by 2031.

Why are we being consulted again, when previous planning determined Orrong Road will be a six-lane highway with signalised intersections?

Through careful investigation and traffic assessment, Main Roads has identified that the six-lane solution will perform unsatisfactorily. It creates a significant barrier between communities and offers little or no improvement in travel times, with a journey time in excess of 45 minutes between Leach and Great Eastern Highways compared to five minutes on the proposed expressway.

What other options have you considered?

Main Roads has assessed several corridor treatment options, including the six-lane highway, expressway, viaducts (road bridge) and tunnels. The expressway option offers the most benefits in terms of preserving property, reducing travel times, improving safety and local amenity.

Why not plan for a viaduct (road bridge) rather than a road below current ground level?

A viaduct option was considered during the Gateway WA project but fails when considered against traffic efficiency criteria. It is also not supported by local government as it severs the community (local road users would only be able to gain access to Orrong Road at Leach or Great Eastern highways), would be visually intrusive for nearby residents and results in greater noise impacts

Will upgrading Orrong Road to an expressway result in extra traffic noise?

Lowering Orrong Road and eliminating traffic signals for the majority of traffic is expected to reduce noise. However, as part of this study we will complete noise monitoring to inform noise modelling for the preferred concept. If required, noise mitigation measures will then be considered as part of further planning work.

Does the proposed expressway option affect any private land?

Yes, in some areas there will be minor land impacts or access changes required.

Why is an expressway safer?

The expressway allows through traffic to flow freely without traffic signals for five kilometres, eliminating stop start conditions and reducing the chance of crashes. It also separates regional and local traffic, allowing safer crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.

When will the expressway be built?

It is very important to note that this is a long-term planning study to determine the best option and reserve the land required. No funding is currently available for construction. If the WAPC supports Main Roads’ submission and reserves the land required, construction will be subject to future funding from State and Federal governments.

If you build the expressway below current ground level, how will local residents get across the corridor?

The benefit of this expressway option is that it doesn’t sever local areas. Surface roads will maintain connectivity for road users, cyclists and pedestrians at key signalised intersections.

Will this proposal affect development opportunities on Orrong Road?

Development matters must be considered on a case by case basis. In the first instance, enquiries should be directed to the appropriate Local Government Authority

Is this study considering dedicated cycling facilities on Orrong Road?

Under the WA Bicycle Network Plan, Orrong Road is not an identified route for a Principal Shared Path due to constructability and land use issues. The Belmont TravelSmart map includes a Bicycle Boulevard parallel to Orrong Road, along Surrey Road (visit City of Belmont website). Safe cyclist crossings will be incorporated at the surface roads.

Will trees in the Orrong Road median be affected by this proposal?

Trees in the median will be lost with any upgrade of Orrong Road. Main Roads will work with stakeholders during more detailed planning to enhance the aesthetics of the design concept with landscaping and/or public art

Why aren’t you spending money on public/active transport initiatives, rather than just widening roads/adding more lanes?

The Australian and State Governments have invested $1.86 billion in the Forrestfield Airport Link, which is part of the METRONET project. This extends the eastern suburbs rail network from Bayswater Station on the Midland Line along Tonkin Highway and Brearley Avenue through the Perth Airport Estate to Forrestfield. Principal Shared Path networks for pedestrians and cyclists are also being heavily invested in across the state.

Will we get another chance to provide feedback?

Yes. Once the WA Planning Commission has received Main Roads’ submission to reserve the land required, it will undertake further consultation.

What happens next?

The WA Planning Commission (WAPC) has supported Main Roads’ plans to proceed to develop this concept further and undertake stakeholder and community consultation. Once this is complete, Main Roads will apply to the WAPC to reserve the required land in the Metropolitan Region Scheme.

What is an expressway?

Main Roads defines expressways as a road primarily for through traffic, with dual carriageway and full control of access in the ultimate configuration. Intersections are generally grade separated.  The posted speed limit is generally 70km/h or 80km/h.  Public transport may use the road as an ‘express route’, with no stops provided on through carriageways.  Paths run parallel to the road, with crossings of the through carriageway grade separated.

Why not plan for a viaduct (road bridge) rather than a road below ground level?

A viaduct option was considered during the Gateway WA project and was not supported by local government as it severs the community (local road users would only be able to gain access to Orrong Road at Leach or Great Eastern Highways), would be visually intrusive for nearby residents and results in potentially greater noise impacts.

What will happen to my driveway?

A benefit of constructing the expressway below ground level is that residential driveways can maintain access to the surface roads.  No driveway access will be permitted to the expressway or, to on or off ramps. 

If you need to take land from property owners, what is the process?

A formal process is in place. Where land is required for State Government infrastructure, it is acquired by negotiation or formal taking action under the powers contained in the Land Administration Act 1997. Compensation may be payable.

Are there commercial property impacts?

A small number of industrial/ commercial properties within the City of Canning, south of Leach Highway, and Town of Victoria Park, will be affected by the preferred concept. Main Roads will engage early with these property owners to discuss property/ access impacts and consider potential solutions.

If you build the expressway below ground level, will you be in the water table?

Yes, in some sections construction of the expressway retaining walls will be in the water table.  Preliminary dewatering assessment has identified the walls will run parallel to the groundwater flow for the majority of the project