TRAFFIC lights, the construction of two through lanes and improvement of turn pockets on Reid Highway are promises among the State Government’s $8 million project to upgrade the dangerous Lord Street intersection.
In the five years to the end of 2011, there were 142 crashes at the notorious intersection.
Transport Minister Troy Buswell met with Swan Hills MLA Frank Alban recently where he discussed the upgrade of local roads, including Lord Street.
“Frank has been lobbying for several years to have this intersection upgraded and I am happy to provide a guarantee that this government will fund the construction,” Mr Buswell said.
“I will be providing the additional funding to ensure that the intersection is upgraded as soon as possible, to the highest standard.”
Mr Alban said installing traffic signals at the intersection would cost $2.5 million but the project needed further development, accounting for the additional cost.
“Traffic volumes through the intersection will require long turning pockets to allow the intersection to operate more efficiently during peak periods,” he said.
“To ensure the best traffic outcomes for road users, the project will now include construction of two through lanes on Reid Highway east and westbound, construction of a single turn lane on Reid Highway westbound, traffic signals and extending the underpass under Reid Highway.”
Swan Valley Regional Network co-ordinator Sue Hurt said the community welcomed the $8 million upgrade but feared it would not go far enough.
“The Swan Valley community’s local roads are not coping from impacts of traffic from cars using local rural roads as short cuts to main roads,” she said.
“Road infrastructure is a high priority and traffic management will be essential as road works are undertaken so that these same roads do not bring traffic to a complete stop. As we have all witnessed there only needs one accident and the whole region’s road system becomes grid locked.”
West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti said the Government needed to “develop a proper transport strategy for the north-eastern corridor.
“We need a clear transport strategy for the region to ensure we can accommodate the residential and tourist traffic, and separate these from the significant truck movements,” she said.