Tonkin Highway Extension
Thomas Road to South Western Highway
We are extending Tonkin Highway – creating a high standard north-south transport link in Perth’s eastern corridor.
A reservation for the road extension has been included in the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) for a number of years.
The project proposes to extend the highway from Thomas Road, Oakford to South Western Highway, south-east of Mundijong.The preliminary concept includes:
- approximately 14 kilometres of four lane dual carriageway;
- construction and/or upgrades of intersections at Thomas Road, Orton Road, Bishop Road, Mundijong Road and South Western Highway;
- bridges over the existing freight rail line and Perth to Bunbury rail line;
- a shared path along the eastern side of the corridor, with planned connections to local path networks; and
- an equine rider and pedestrian underpass under Tonkin Highway at Abernethy Road.
Extensive planning and development work is well underway to confirm the scope and progress the various approvals to allow for road construction.
We are currently undertaking geotechnical and site investigations, and traffic and noise modelling assessments are also underway. Traffic modelling will help inform the type of intersections to be considered along the extension (Thomas Road, Orton Road, Bishop Road, Mundijong Road and South Western Highway).
We continue to engage with the community and key stakeholders to identify further issues and constraints in developing the design of the highway, local road connections and intersections.
During July and August we invited residents and businesses who may be impacted by the Tonkin Highway Extension to share what’s important to them about the project and why.
Important considerations highlighted by the community was local access changes, design of the extension, pedestrian, cycling and horse riding connections, noise issues, safety and of course environmental impacts. Specifically that the highly valued flora and fauna needs to be managed.
We heard from about 600 people and have summarised those comments in a Project Update.
Freight rail realignment planning study
We are also undertaking a planning study to determine an alignment and the feasibility of including the construction of a proposed realignment of Kwinana South Western freight rail.
The proposal to realign the existing freight rail that currently passes through Mundijong was included in the Perth & Peel @3.5M Sub-Regional Planning Framework.
Two rail alignment options have been identified for further investigation. Open the freight rail realignment options planning study map.
Throughout 2020 we will undertake site investigation works and stakeholder consultation for freight rail alignment options to identify the preferred alignment.
The outcomes of the planning study will be used to inform a future reservation in the Metropolitan Region Scheme for the freight rail realignment and to identify the potential for the realignment to be constructed at the same time as the project.
- 2020: Planning and Development
- Construction timeline is subject to environmental and statutory approvals and finalisation of project scope.
What is the project schedule?
The project’s construction schedule is subject to the findings of site investigations and regulatory approvals, with a more refined project delivery schedule being determined as the planning and development works progress through 2020.
What is the status of the Tonkin Highway extension environmental approvals?
The project has environmental approval under the (State) Environmental Protection Act (Ministerial Statement MS 595) and we are currently seeking environmental approval under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. In April 2020, the project was determined to be a ‘controlled action’ under the EPBC Act (EPBC 2019/8606) and the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) requested further information to assist in the assessment process.
The importance of the work required to ensure that the natural assets of Western Australia are conserved is understood and appreciated. There are some very sensitive environmental issues that need to be addressed as part of planning for the Tonkin Highway Extension project, including impacts to threatened ecological communities, rare flora, and three species of Black Cockatoo.
We will submit the requested information on the Tonkin Highway Extension to DAWE for consideration by September.
Who is responsible for Thomas Road, east of Tonkin Highway?
The Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale. It is possible we may take responsibility for the road in the next two to three years.
Will planning work consider the extension of Tonkin Highway further south?
Extending Tonkin Highway south of Mundijong Road was included in the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) sub-regional planning framework and is considered a long-term proposal.
A short section of the future Tonkin Highway south of Mundijong Road will be planned for as part of the Tonkin Highway extension and potential freight rail realignment works.
However, no further planning work is currently funded to occur.
Will the intersections along the highway be grade separated with bridges?
The current project scope does not make provision for grade separations at Thomas Road, Orton Road, Mundijong Road or South Western Highway.
We are currently undertaking extensive traffic modelling to confirm the treatments required at each intersection.
What types of intersections are being considered and access from local roads?
We are undertaking traffic modelling, which will help inform the type of intersections to be considered at Thomas Road, Orton Road, Bishop Road, Mundijong Road and South Western Highway.
The modelling will also consider the local road network and possible changes to accommodate the highway at Hopkinson Road, Gossage Road and Abernethy Road.
What would it cost to grade separate the intersections now rather than later?
We have not undertaken any estimates as to the additional cost to grade separate all the intersections as part of the project.
However, the cost would be well above the available budget, but the intersections proposed will have the capacity to be able be grade separated in the future.
Is there a connection from Hopkinson Road to Tonkin Highway?
No, there will be no connection provided from Hopkinson Road to Tonkin Highway.
However, a connection to Thomas Road will be considered as part of the planning process. Other local road connections are also being reviewed as part of the planning process.
Will Abernethy Road be connected to Tonkin Highway?
No, there will be no connection provided from Abernethy Road to Tonkin Highway. However, an equine / pedestrian / cyclist underpass is planned at this location to maintain east-west connectivity.
Retaining local access for vehicles by maintaining Abernethy Road under Tonkin Highway will be considered as part of the planning process.
What equine, pedestrian and cyclist connectivity is being planned?
An equine underpass is planned under Tonkin Highway at Abernethy Road.
A shared-use path is planned on the east side of the highway with planned connections where local paths are provided on local roads.
We have begun engaging with the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale and other stakeholders to determine plans for paths on the adjacent road network. This will be considered as part of the planning and development work underway.
Are there plans to reduce South Western Highway to one lane in each direction through Byford town site?
No, previous traffic modelling has concluded that with the expansion of the Byford, Cardup and Mundijong areas, South Western Highway will need to remain two lanes in each direction through the Byford town site, even with Tonkin Highway constructed.
What other works are happening on the local road network?
Main Roads plans and undertakes roadworks on freeways, highways and some main roads, for example, Thomas Road west of Tonkin Highway, however, the wider local road network is managed by relevant shires or councils.
For information on local road improvements, contact the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale.
Are there any changes planned for the freight railway line?
A planning study is underway to determine a reservation for any proposed realignment of the Kwinana South Western freight rail. The study will also consider if the proposed freight rail alignment in Mundijong is constructed at the same time as the highway extension.
If the rail realignment is undertaken simultaneously, Bishop Road may become an at-grade intersection, however Mundijong Road may then need to be grade separated to cater for the realigned rail.
Properties that require early environmental and heritage investigations within the two rail realignment options have been identified. Notice of Entry letters are being issued to these properties and investigation works will be undertaken by various consultants over the coming months.
Outcomes of investigations on these properties will inform the broader feasibility of undertaking any future rail realignment work along with the highway’s construction.
Is noise, access and bushfire risk being considered as part of the freight rail realignment planning study?
Yes, noise, bushfire risk and access, as well as other items, are all being considered as part of the planning study.