Tonkin Highway Corridor
Roe Highway to Kelvin Road
Planning and development is well underway to upgrade Tonkin Highway south of Roe Highway. The project includes widening Tonkin Highway from four to six lanes and upgrading the intersections at Hale Road, Welshpool Road and Kelvin Road, improving safety and reducing delays along this heavily congested route.
This important project will be delivered under two contracts. The first will include the intersections along Tonkin Highway at Hale Road and Welshpool Road, and the second includes Tonkin Highway and Kelvin Road.
View our latest video animation which outlines the scope of the first contract. This involves widening Tonkin Highway and upgrading intersections at Hale Road and Welshpool Road to improve traffic flow.
We are also seeking your input into our survey, focusing on traffic-related matters, and how you travel to and from the area. Read our latest Project Update and have your say on our survey before 15 October.
We are in the project development phase, which investigates and defines the project’s technical scope. This involves assessing the various options for both contracts, which includes the three Tonkin Highway intersections at Hale, Welshpool and Kelvin Roads.
We have undertaken a number of activities to confirm the project scope, including:
- ongoing stakeholder consultation to identify and resolve various issues/constraints, including nearby landowners, community and environmental groups;
- concept design, geotechnical and site investigations, traffic modelling and environmental assessments to inform environmental processes and approvals.
- 2020-21: Planning and Development for both contracts
- 2022: Construction commences
Tonkin Highway at Welshpool Road East and Kelvin Road
These intersections will continue to provide access to and from Tonkin Highway to the north and south. However, Tonkin Highway will travel over Welshpool and Kelvin roads, improving capacity and traffic flow. It will also reduce the likelihood of trucks seeking alternative routes on local roads (including Crystal Brook Road) to avoid the current congestion and queuing at the signalised intersections.
Initial planning determined that a bridge would be built to take Tonkin Highway over Hale Road with no access ramps to and from Hale Road (Hale Road would still be open for travel between Forrestfield and Wattle Grove). However, following community feedback, we re-examined the options and the design was changed in early 2020 to provide access to and from Hale Road and Perth City via north facing ramps. 80 per cent of traffic using Hale Road to access Tonkin Highway now is travelling north.
Hale Road will continue to travel between Forrestfield and Wattle Grove. Further community feedback resulted in direct access from Hale Road to Tonkin Highway being announced in August 2021.
Detailed investigations into providing south facing ramps showed these were not a viable option due to several reasons:
- Traffic modelling shows there is significantly lower demand to and from the south. More than 80 per cent of vehicles using Hale Road travel north on Tonkin Highway.
- There are major existing services (gas and water) located at the corner of Hale Road and Tonkin Highway. These are costly to replace and more vegetation would need to be cleared.
- There are prohibitive cost and land impacts. We would need to widen the project footprint to include new collector-distributor roads (roads alongside the highway that allow vehicles to get on and off Tonkin Highway). This would:
- add significant cost
- require private land acquisition (homes)
- impact the Veteran Car Club operations
- require extensive vegetation clearing within Bush Forever sites and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage registered Aboriginal place Welshpool Reserve (Maamba Reserve).
To access Wattle Grove and Forrestfield from the south, drivers will exit at Welshpool Road and likely use Lewis Road or Hale Road. We recognise Lewis Road is currently being used as a rat run to avoid current congestion at Hale Road and Tonkin Highway intersection.
However, combined with the intersection upgrades, the existing Tonkin Highway will be transformed to a freeway standard link with six lanes, creating a free-flowing environment and a safer, more efficient transport route.
Emergency, Trucks and Cyclist/Pedestrian Access
At this stage, we have not been advised of any major issues that will impact timing as emergency vehicles have priority on roads and determine the most appropriate route depending on the time of day. We will continue to liaise with emergency services.
Cyclists and pedestrians
A new principal shared path will be built to the east of Tonkin Highway from Hale Road to Kelvin Road with links to the local cycle network (in consultation with Local Government). We will be providing updates regarding the design to the community as we progress.
Why is the project needed?
We need to improve safety and traffic flows at all three intersections given the crashes and delays experienced, which impact all road users, residents, freight traffic and businesses.
From 2016 to 2020 there were:
- 124 crashes at the Tonkin Highway and Hale Road intersection, of which 109 (87.9 per cent) of total crashes were rear-end incidents
- 177 crashes at the Tonkin Highway and Welshpool Road East intersection, of which 155 (87.6 per cent) of total crashes were rear-end incidents
- 107 crashes at the Tonkin Highway and Kelvin Road intersection, of which 85 (79.4 per cent) of total crashes were rear-end incidents
All of the above exceed the Perth metropolitan average of 45 per cent for rear-end incidents.
What will it mean to my daily journeys?
You will spend less time in traffic on Tonkin Highway and adjoining local roads, resulting in quicker, safer and more efficient journeys. Current wait times at each intersection will significantly improve, similar to what has happened along Leach and Tonkin Highways.
We have done some significant traffic modelling and will soon release the new travel times that can be expected at all three intersections once the project is complete.
If you are a cyclist, your daily journey will improve with a new shared path being constructed along the highway.
Will noise walls be built?
Noise walls will be provided in the vicinity of the project area to comply with the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) Road and Rail Noise Policy (State Planning Policy 5.4). Noise modelling will be undertaken which will inform the size and the location of proposed walls. This process is part of the detailed design phase when we appoint a construction contractor with consultation undertaken closer to construction.
Will Main Roads be acquiring land or houses?
Some land acquisition is required and we are continuing to meet with potentially impacted landowners in the project area.
As Tonkin Highway is being widened, will the road move closer to houses?
In some areas, the road will move closer to houses and properties. For example, on Maamba Road and Hardey East Road to accommodate the new ramps.
What will be the impacts on local bus routes?
We have been working with the Public Transport Authority (PTA) to seek feedback. Consultation will also take place with the City of Kalamunda to determine impacts on local school and community facility bus routes.
Are pedestrian and cycling facilities being included?
A new shared path will be built to the east of Tonkin Highway from Hale Road to Kelvin Road, with links to the local cycle network (in consultation with Local Government).
Hale Road Intersection
The new design will mean there are now two sets of signals on Hale Road under Tonkin Highway. Won't that mean the same delays we have now?
With Hale Road continuing to connect the two suburbs, the benefit for locals travelling between Wattle Grove and Forrestfield (east and west) will be significantly improved travel times. This is because Tonkin Highway will travel over Hale Road.
To help improve travel times, default green signals will be installed on Hale Road at north-facing ramp intersections. This means the red signal is only triggered red by:
- Right-turn movements travelling north – from Forrestfield turning right onto the ramp to the city;
- Traffic from the city turning right to Wattle Grove; and
- Pedestrians or cyclists activating the signals to cross
This will allow more green time on Hale Road between Forrestfield and Wattle Grove. There will be no more waiting on Hale Road for Tonkin Highway traffic with Tonkin Highway travelling over Hale Road.
If I am travelling on Roe Highway heading south towards Hale Road, can I turn right at Hale Road?
Yes, you will be able to exit at Hale Road. The currently banned right-turn movement will be allowed. It could not be allowed previously due to traffic from Roe Highway crossing multiple Tonkin Highway lanes in a short distance to turn right into Hale Road to get to Wattle Grove.
How will I get to Hale Road from Tonkin Highway to access Forrestfield?
You will need to use the Roe Highway exit ramp (currently exists) that will have direct access to Hale Road. This means when travelling southbound on Tonkin Highway you will exit to Hale Road north of Roe Highway interchange. This access currently exists and signage will be installed to guide this new movement.
Can you build a roundabout at Hale Road under Tonkin Highway instead of signals?
A roundabout option was investigated for Hale Road to sit under Tonkin Highway. The area needed for this type of interchange needs to be very large to allow access for all vehicles (including heavy vehicles) and safe sight distances through the structures supporting the Tonkin Highway bridge. There would be additional impacts on private properties (homes) and the Water Corporation Valve Enclosure and Dampier to Bunbury Gas Pipeline.
Can you raise Hale Road over Tonkin Highway?
This was one of many of options investigated in the project area. What we found was that even a slight lowering of Tonkin Highway of 1-2 metres puts us close to existing groundwater (this is measured as shallow as 4.3 metres below ground level near Hale Road) as the road pavement is approximately 1 metre thick and drainage would be required below that).
- The Water Corporation Open Drain on the north side of Hale Road flowing from Forrestfield to Wattle Grove crosses Tonkin Highway at this point, and lowering could sever this. There is also flood storage to the north west of the intersection that the highway would potentially be below.
- Groundwater flows have been highlighted as a significant concern by key environmental stakeholders for the project as impacts on, or severance of, along the alignment has the potential to adversely impact adjacent wetlands.
- A 10.3 metre vertical clearance would be needed for high wide loads to travel on Tonkin Highway and clear under Hale Road, as these need to access Roe Highway northbound and eastbound. This means the Hale Road ramp up to the 10.3 metres clearance (plus 2 metres to road level for structure and pavement thickness) would travel hundreds of metres on Hale Road on both sides of Tonkin Highway. Access to properties on Hale Road would be severed (given the ramps would gradually travel from roughly 12 metres down to the existing Hale Road).
There would also be visual amenity impacts on properties in the area with a 12 metre height structure versus the current structure, which is approximately 7.8 metres (5.8 metre clearance plus 2 metre bridge and pavement thickness).
If I am travelling from Gosnells to Hartfield Park, how will I get there if there are no ramps off Tonkin Highway?
You can exit Tonkin Highway at Welshpool Road East:
- Turn left onto Welshpool Road East, right into Hale Road and then travel through to Hartfield Park or
- Turn right onto Welshpool Road East, left onto Lewis Road, and left onto Hartfield Road.
To get back onto Tonkin Highway southbound, use either of the above routes.
Welshpool Road East and Kelvin Road Intersections
Can I get on and off Tonkin Highway in both directions at these intersections?
Yes. Tonkin Highway travels over both intersections and there are ramps providing full access (northbound and southbound) on and off Tonkin Highway.
Will you upgrade Lewis Road and Welshpool Road East intersection? It is already congested and more people will use it to get to Tonkin Highway south.
Lewis Road is outside the project scope. However, now the interchange designs have been confirmed, we can discuss this and other local road impacts with the City of Kalamunda to determine if the same capacity issues will remain after the project is constructed and direct connectivity and Tonkin Highway/Welshpool Road East capacity is improved.
We have had feedback that local roads are being used to avoid the signalised intersections with Tonkin Highway. This upgrade will generally provide relief to local roads. However, residents should be aware that increased development (housing) brings more vehicles onto the local network.
Is the current construction and traffic control on Hale Road from Tonkin Highway to Welshpool Road East part of this project?
No. The current widening of Hale Road is a City of Kalamunda project and further information is available on their website.
How will I access Tonkin Highway if I am driving to the hills?
Drivers heading south can use Hale Road to travel to Welshpool Road East and then to the new interchange at Tonkin Highway and Welshpool Road East. This will significantly reduce congestion, improve safety and traffic flow at this intersection and across the south-east corridor.
What about access for Police, fire trucks and ambulances to get to an emergency?
We have been discussing operational requirements with Department of Fire and Emergency Services and WA Police to seek their feedback, and will continue to do so. At this stage, we have not been advised of any major issues that will impact timing as emergency vehicles have priority on roads and determine the most appropriate route depending on the time of day. The north-facing ramps at Hale Road will assist with emergency access and egress. Reduced wait times at Hale Road intersection will further improve access and safety for emergency services.
What changes will be made to Kenwick Road?
Kenwick Road access will remain open from Kelvin Road. The final form of the access will be determined by the MKSEA Structure Plan under development by the City of Gosnells.
There are a lot of trucks travelling through Crystal Brook Road, between Welshpool Road East and Kelvin Road. Will the project improve this?
We understand this movement is related to extended wait times at the Welshpool Road East intersection and perception that Kelvin Road intersection will provide faster access to Tonkin Highway. This is compounded by current heavy demand for right-turn movements eastbound along Welshpool Road East to southbound on Tonkin Highway and the community has pointed out trucks are travelling through the intersection and then performing a U-Turn east of the highway to turn left southbound on Tonkin Highway (an observation supported by the traffic data collection). This further delays the left movement.
Both Welshpool Road East and Kelvin Road intersections at Tonkin Highway will be upgraded. The upgrades will improve capacity and traffic flow, accommodate the current heavy demands and, in turn, reduce the likelihood of trucks seeking alternative routes (including Crystal Brook Road) to avoid congestion.
Environmental assessmentsWe are required to refer the project for both Federal and State environmental approval, which has involved:
- March 2021: Referred the Tonkin Highway Grade Separated Interchanges – Hale Road and Welshpool Road component of the project to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for assessment under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act (1986).
- September 2019: the same component of the project was referred to the Commonwealth for assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Form - September 2019 - PDF (175 KB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att1 - Appendix 1 - Various Lots within DE - PDF (127 KB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att2 - Figure 1 Site location - PDF (294 KB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att3 - Figure 2 Threatened and Priority Ecological Communities and Flora - PDF (587 KB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att4 - Figure 3 Fauna Habitat - PDF (749 KB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att5 - Figure 4 Black Cockatoo Habitat - PDF (547 KB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att6 - Figure 5 Wetlands - PDF (210 KB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att7 - Figure 6 Vegetation Types - PDF (666 KB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att8 - Figure 7 Vegetation Condition - PDF (697 KB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att9 - Figure 8 Regional Context - PDF (1.15 MB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att10 - Tonkin Highway and Hale Road Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (AECOM 2014) - PDF (4.71 MB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att11 - Tonkin Highway and Welshpool Road Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (AECOM 2014) - PDF (5.08 MB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att12 - Tonkin Highway Interchanges (Hale Rd Welshpool Rd and Kelvin Rd) Biological Report (2015) - PDF (20 MB)
- TGSI Hale & Welshpool Road EPBC Referral Att13 - Vegetation Condition Hale & Welshpool - PDF (6.55 MB)
- TGSI EPBC Preliminary Documentation - Main Document - PDF (19 MB)
- Appendix A Additional Information Request List - PDF (115 KB)
- Appendix B_General Arrangement - PDF (11.2 MB)
- Appendix C_Biological Assessment and Targeted and Black Cockatoo Habitat Assessment_Pt 1 - PDF (17.4 MB)
- Appendix C_Biological Assessment and Targeted and Black Cockatoo Habitat Assessment_Pt 2 - PDF (14.3 MB)
- Appendix D_Hale Road Vegetation Assessment - PDF (3.95 MB)
- Appendix E_Targeted Flora and Black Cockatoo Hollow Assessment - PDF (18.2 MB)
- Appendix F_Dieback Assessment - PDF (3.53 MB)
- Appendix G Risk Assessment - PDF (171 KB)
- Appendix H_Action Management Plan - PDF (17.8 MB)
- Appendix I_Offset Strategy - PDF (13.2 MB)
A number of different environmental surveys have been undertaken for the project between 2015 and 2021.
We have met and continue to liaise with the Nature Reserves Preservation Group, Friends of Woodlupine Living Stream and Friends of Woodlupine Brook and plan to meet with the Kalamunda Environmental Advisory Committee. Discussions have included avoiding disturbance of native vegetation and threatened flora and fauna, as well as noise mitigation, minimising lighting pollution and revegetation. These groups provide valuable local environmental knowledge.
Our Baseline Water Quality monitoring (surface and groundwater) is continuing to assess pre and post development flows to help us retain or improve quality.
- Animation on YouTube - August 2021
- Tonkin Highway and Hale Road access changes on YouTube - June 2020
- Improved Tonkin Highway-Hale Road designs unveiled following community feedback - 27 August 2021
- Roads budget delivers congestion busting solution and WA jobs - 9 May 2019
FundingThe Federal ($293 million) and State ($73) Governments have committed funding.
Improve safety and reduce crashes
Ease congestion and improve access
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