More than 100 local jobs will be generated from $26 million worth of upgrades to Thomas Road which is expected to improve safety, traffic capacity and efficiency over the next two years.
The upgrades are set to occur at the intersection of Thomas Road and Nicholson Road in Oakford, and the intersection of Kargotich Road which was listed as a State Black Spot in 2018.
WA Premier Mark McGowan and Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti joined Member for East Metropolitan Region Mathew Swinbourn last Thursday to make the announcement at the intersection of Thomas Road and Nicholson Road in Oakford.
Planning and development is progressing with construction to be expected to begin next year.
A new two-lane roundabout will be installed to improve safety and traffic efficiency for the 19,000 vehicles that pass through the intersection daily.
Premier Mark McGowan said they are moving as quickly as possible to create local jobs through the Covid-19 period.
“This is about making a busy road much safer and saving lives,” he said,
“It is well known that this road has a huge traffic flow and we have put a great deal of effort into securing funds and completing the engineering work studies to get the work done, to improve the traffic flow and to make it safer for everyone travelling along here.
“This has been an enormous effort by the transport minister and it becomes clear, when you travel this road as regularly as I do, just how busy it is at times and it can also be a bit dangerous.
“I was actually driving on this road some years ago and a truck came out and I skidded off the road.
“That has always stuck in my mind, so I am pleased we are going to do something about making it safer.”
Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said the state government was successful in securing much needed funds for road upgrades in partnership with the Commonwealth government.
“This intersection has always been busy and it is getting busier, in particular with all the developments in Byford,” she said.
“There are a lot of services that we need to relocate for this road upgrade, including a major water drain, high voltage transmission and Telstra services.
“We were also successful into receiving three million dollars in black spot funding for Thomas and Kargotich Roads and we are looking at the details of planning for that as well.
“We see this as a great priority for the state and so far, what we’ve been able to do is we’ve done some works already from Kwinana Freeway to the East for about four kilometres and that has already finished with about two million dollars’ worth of work, and that was widening the road about two metres and improving its shoulders.”
Road projects like this are expected to multiply jobs and Ms Saffioti said the plan is to create a pipeline of work that will not only generate temporary jobs but it would secure jobs in the long term.
“We expect more than 100 jobs to come out for these types of projects, we will constantly have jobs like this out in the market to make sure that not only people get a job but there is certainty about the next job that comes through,” she said.
“We also have a fast-track project and we hope we can announce it within the next couple of weeks as we will know then if the Commonwealth government is going to fund another Thomas Road project with us.”
Planning is also progressing to provide a dual carriageway on the one-kilometre section of Thomas Road immediately east of Kwinana Freeway.
Funding for this proposed upgrade, which will include the construction of a two-lane roundabout to help ease traffic flow heading north and south, is still to be secured.
Road planning is also underway to help develop the potential long-term future of the Thomas and Anketell Road freight corridor, from the proposed Kwinana Outer Harbour site to Tonkin Highway.