Minister for Infrastructure Jeremy Rockliff visited the Perth East Link construction site on Saturday to spruik the state government’s planned infrastructure spend.
Road projects due to start this year include the West Tamar Highway Traffic Solution first projects; the East Tamar Highway new roundabout at the Mowbray Connector; Great Eastern Drive passing lanes, junction upgrades and safety works; Esk Main Road shoulder sealing and works east of Fingal and west of St Marys; and East Tamar Highway intersection upgrades at Goderich Street and Gleadow Street, the minister said.
When completed, the link will allow traffic to bypass the town of Perth on the Midland Highway.
Construction firm VEC civil engineering manager Lincoln Bromwich said two new bridges had been completed over Illawarra Road. The new section of Illawarra Road passes underneath the bridges while avoiding active construction sites, as work is due to continue until 2021 on the bypass.
“We’ll now be moving on to the southern side of the project; moving southwards towards Perth,” Mr Bromwich said.
“Over the next couple of weeks you’ll see a lot of earthmoving equipment, you’ll see a lot of trucks, you’ll see a lot of heavy concrete beams coming in from our Ulverstone yard, and you’ll see a third bridge taking shape over the next few months.”
The Perth East Link is part of the $500 million Midland Highway 10 Year Action Plan. On the Perth site about 200 people have been employed, with about 80 per cent coming from the local area.
“In October last year this was just a paddock,” Mr Rockliff said.
“To see the progress over a short period of time, on this $92.3 million project, is absolutely extraordinary.”
Mr Rockliff said that by August, 62 per cent of the Midland Highway Action Plan would be completed.
Labor infrastructure spokesperson David O’Byrne said the government was “cooking the books” by using infrastructure to “cover up for their plunge into $1.1 billion in debt”.