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Timings set for $1.6bn Australian road freight scheme

19 Dec 14 Construction of Western Australia’s largest road project - the Perth Freight Link - is scheduled to start in early 2016, the state government has announced.

State premier Colin Barnett yesterday confirmed that the state government would invest AU$650m (£340m) towards the AU$1.575bn (£822m) project, which will remove up to 500 trucks a day from Leach Highway and provide a more efficient and direct freight link to Fremantle Port.

The project will be built under two separate contracts. The first contract, for the extension of Roe Highway west from Kwinana Freeway, is expected to be awarded by October 2015.  The second contract - to upgrade the remainder of the Perth Freight Link - is expected to be awarded by November 2015. Site work is expected to begin for both contracts early in 2016.

The federal government has already committed AU$925m to the Perth Freight Link. The state government’s AU$650m is made up of AU$59m already committed and AU$591m in new money.

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A heavy-vehicle user charge - a per kilometre charge on heavy vehicles only for the freight route between Muchea and Fremantle - is planned to start once the road is finished and eventually recoup part of the cost of the project to the State.

“This project will result in improved safety for all road users, reduced traffic congestion, fewer trucks on urban roads and significant freight industry productivity improvements,” said Barnett.

All works on the Perth Freight Link should be completed by mid-2019, with some of the infrastructure due to open by mid-2017. The project will link-in with the AU$1bn Gateway WA project and the AU$1.12bn NorthLink WA scheme from Perth to Darwin Highway.

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