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Road, rail, intermodal must help Perth freight grow: Report

GRAPHIC: A new, long-term outlook for the integrated transport network of Greater Perth has prioritised a series of road, rail and intermodal terminal projects as crucial to the city as it grows to a population of 3.5 million people.

The report, dubbed Transport @ 3.5 Million, comes from the state’s Department of Transport, and its minister Dean Nalder, and was released late last month.

Alongside improvements to the city’s public transport network, the plan outlines a series of significant road, rail and intermodal projects which will help cater for projected growth over the next few decades.

 

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Perth freight plan

 

“Improved road and freight networks, tunnels and river crossings will play a part in our future network, keeping the city vibrant, connected and productive,” Nalder said last week.

“With the cost of congestion in Perth currently estimated at $2 billion a year, the Liberal National Government has developed a comprehensive and smart plan that will keep Perth and our economy moving.”

The plan outlines five key principles for the future planning of the freight network:

  1. Enable metropolitan ports to achieve their optimum capacity
  2. Move more of Perth’s freight task by rail
  3. Expand the metropolitan intermodal terminal system
  4. Strengthen the high standard, high productivity road freight network to strengthen the economy, and
  5. Protect transport infrastructure critical to economic prosperity.

To execute this, the Department thinks the state needs to build the Perth Freight Link, Fremantle Tunnel and Fremantle Port Connect by the time the city has a population of 2.7 million (it currently sits around 2.1 million).

Further down the track, the report says access to Fremantle’s Outer Harbour will need to be boosted through the Fremantle-Rockingham Highway, which will connect with the Perth Freight Link and the new Stock Road Tunnel.

Then the east-west routes of Rowley Road, Anketell Road and Mundijong Road will need to be built to a four-lane divided standard, the report adds, linking the Tonkin Highway, Kwinana Freeway, and Fremantle-Rockingham Highway with the Western Trade Coast.

On the rail side of things, a number of track duplications and enhancements are cited, as well as the removal of level crossings at Nicholson Road in Canning Vale, North Lake Road at Bibra Lake, Toodyay Road in Middle Swan, and Morrison Road in Midvale, before the population hits 2.7 million.

For further growth, a dedicated rail bridge will be needed in North Fremantle over the Swan River, transfer systems will need to be built to support new container port facilities at the Outer Harbour, and the track will need to be duplicated between Cockburn Triangle and the Latitude 32 Industrial Zone, as well as between Latitude 32 and the Kwinana Triangle, the report states.

High capacity intermodal terminals at Kewdale and Forrestfield will be needed to service the interstate and international markets, the report continues, and further facilities will be needed to serve the regions to the north and north-west of the growing city.

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