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Roads Australia Insider - May 10, 2019


Time running out to join RA’s North America Study Visit

The clock is ticking for those who haven’t yet signed up for RA’s Future Transport: Smart Cities Study Visit to the US and Canada in July.

The trip, which takes place from July 22 to August 4, is strictly limited to 20 places which are filling fast.

The purpose of the tour is to follow up on RA’s key contacts in the US to learn about how they’re progressing their future transport plans, and to visit Canada to discover how smart cities strategies are being implemented.

“Much has happened around the planning and trialling of autonomous vehicles in the US since our last visit in April 2017, and this will be an opportunity to meet with the people who are driving the agenda,” says RA President, David Stuart-Watt, who will lead the RA delegation.

The draft program highlights include:

  • Washington DC - meet with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Pittsburgh - visit with the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, Carnegie Mellon University, discussions on the Pittsburgh Smart City MOU with Mayor William Peduto, and learn more about Uber’s driverless vehicle trials.
  • Detroit - travel to Mcity U-M Transportation Research Institute in Detroit.
  • San Francisco - meet with senior leaders from Contra Costa County, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority and learn from transport innovation specialists from Lyft, Google and Tesla.
  • Vancouver - discover how Vancouver plans to compete in Canada’s $50 million Smart Cities Challenge, and bring back ideas around how Australian cities can harness data to improve our livability.

The trip fee is $18,000, which includes a $1,500 registration fee. The trip fee includes 5 star accommodation, all breakfasts, all on ground transport and selected meals, but excludes flights or visas.

If you’d like to secure a place or need more information, please contact RA's National Membership & Event Manager, Marlie Curtis, ph. 03 9821 5255.

WA Govt delivers $4.2 billion budget for roads and maintenance

The WA Budget handed down yesterday provides $4.2 billion for road infrastructure and maintenance initiatives aimed at reducing traffic congestion, improving safety and creating jobs.

It includes $1.52 billion for new road projects across the eastern and southern suburbs of Perth, including $1.2 billion for the Tonkin Highway Transformation Project (widening Tonkin Highway from Great Eastern Highway to just north of Guildford Road; Tonkin Highway grade separated interchanges at Kelvin and Welshpool roads and a new flyover at Hale Road; and Tonkin Highway extension from Thomas Road to South Western Highway in Mundijong.)

A further $156 million is committed to getting construction underway this year for two major eastern suburbs projects - the Reid Highway duplication, between Beechboro Road and West Swan Road, and the Roe Highway-Kalamunda Road interchange.

Meanwhile, further works will begin in 2020 to improve transport around the eastern suburbs, including Great Eastern Highway Bypass grade separated interchanges at Roe Highway and Abernethy Road, and the Lloyd Street extension.

New major projects also include the $230 million Fremantle Traffic Bridge replacement project, and $215 million for the 5.6 kilometre extension of the Mitchell Freeway from Hester Avenue to Romeo Road in our northern suburbs.

The Government says record funding will be spent on regional roads to start or complete major projects, including :

  • $175 million for the construction of the Albany Ring Road to divert heavy haulage around the City of Albany;
  • $30 million for further improvements to South Coast Highway between Albany and Jerramungup;
  • $852 million for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road;
  • $59 million for upgrades to the Ord River-Halls Creek to Warmun section of Great Northern Highway;
  • $65.7 million for the upgrade and sealing of the remaining 90 kilometres of the Broome-Cape Leveque Road;
  • $310 million for the upgrade and sealing of the Karratha-Tom Price Road;
  • $347.2 million for the continued improvements to Great Northern Highway (Muchea to Wubin);
  • $275 million for the construction of the 46 kilometre Bindoon Bypass; and
  • $14 million for the duplication of Great Eastern Highway between Anzac Drive and Gatacre Drive in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

The Government’s cornerstone METRONET project also stays on track, with the Budget outlining:

  • $536 million to build the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, with construction expected to start later this year;
  • $520 million to build the Yanchep Rail Extension, with construction expected to start later this year;
  • $146 million to build the new Bayswater Station, the first stage of the Morley-Ellenbrook Line, with construction expected to start later this year;
  • $207.5 million over the forward estimates to remove level crossings on the Armadale Line at Oats Street, Mint Street and Welshpool Road; and
  • $1.2 billion allocation for projects in detailed planning stages, including the Byford Rail Extension, Morley-Ellenbrook Line, Midland Station Project and new Karnup Station.

In addition, construction on the project to remove the dangerous Denny Avenue level crossing in Kelmscott will start later this year. Planning to remove the Wharf Street, Hamilton Street and William Street level crossings on the Armadale line is also underway as is further work on the Caledonian Avenue crossing on the Midland Line.

Road safety related programs receiving funding include:

  • the Safer Roads and Bridge Improvements Program for road safety priorities across the State ($43 million in 2019-20);
  • continuation of the Regional Road Safety Program with $55 million going towards various regional road safety projects ($20.7 million in 2019-20);
  • $46 million in 2019-20 from the Road Trauma Trust Account to counter urban metropolitan intersection and regional run-off crashes as well as continued safety improvements to Indian Ocean Drive, Toodyay Road and Great Eastern Highway; and
  • $20.7 million to continue the State Black Spot Program.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti says the Budget builds on the work the McGowan Government has initiated in its first two years in office, delivering on election commitments, creating thousands of jobs and improving road safety and reducing congestion.

She says many of the projects the Government took to the election two years ago are now under construction or starting this financial year.

For more 2019-20 State Budget information, visit


Promises ramp up in rundown to Federal election

With little more than a week to go, transport and infrastructure has emerged as one of the critical issues that will determine the outcome of the Federal election.

While the Coalition laid most of its cards on the table in last month's Federal Budget, the Labor Party has been rolling out announcements and spending commitments on almost a daily basis. Here's a summary from the past fortnight:


  • $3 billion for Western Sydney Rail to connect the new Western Sydney Airport to the metropolitan rail network
  • $3 billion to build the Sydney Metro West line
  • $2 billion for the Melbourne Metro Tunnel
  • $1 billion to begin securing the corridor required to build a High Speed Rail Link from Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra
  • $1.75 billion towards the North East Link in Melbourne
  • $1.6 billion to extend the Pacific Highway (M1) from Black Hill to Raymond Terrace, in NSW
  • $1.5 billion to deliver targeted upgrades to key arterial roads across Melbourne
  • $1.3 billion in a Tasmanian Roads Package
  • $250 million towards Victoria's first fully separated high-speed busway from Doncaster Road to Hoddle Street
  • $250 million to progress the full duplication of the Barton Highway between Murrumbateman and the NSW/ACT border
  • $260 million to upgrade the nation's cycling paths 
  • $200 million for a third Hawkesbury River Crossing, west of Sydney
  • $57 million for an Electric Vehicle Manufacturing and Innovation Strategy
  • $50 million to progress planning for the M9, also known as the Outer Sydney Orbital
  • a ‘comprehensive infrastructure plan’ to reduce traffic congestion across South East Queensland


  • $70 million to deliver 29 road upgrades on the NSW Central Coast
  • $300 million for park-and-ride facilities at 30 train stations across seven train lines in Melbourne
  • an additional $226 million for congestion busting projects across SEQ
  • an additional $167 million for Western Sydney road projects

NT Budget commits $1.45b to infrastructure

This week’s Northern Territory Budget has delivered $564 million for roads and transport as part of a $1.45 billion infrastructure spend.

Roads and transport highlights include:

  • $50 million to construct a new marine facility at Mandorah to replace the ageing jetty
  • $8 million to strengthen and widen the road network, traffic management road treatment and landscape road verges across the Territory
  • $5.6 million for intersection works on Bagot Road and Osgood Drive to cater for Darwin airport development and improve safety
  • $4.3 million to continue the cycle path program to support active transport, including from Howard Springs to Coolalinga.

Co‑funded projects progressing in 2019‑20 include:

  • $60.2 million to continue to improve various sections of the Plenty Highway and Tjukaruru Road
  • $29 million for the Buntine Highway, to continue strengthening and widening works and extending the seal towards the Western Australia border
  • $24.2 million to continue upgrades to Tablelands Highway and Barkly Stock Route under the Beef Roads Program
  • $16.2 million to continue to upgrade and seal priority sections of the Central Arnhem Road • $6.3 million to upgrade roads on the Tiwi Islands to support economic and social development.

Click here to view the Budget website.


Level crossing blitz to see eight gone in Melbourne’s north

Communities in Melbourne’s inner north will enjoy better connections and more open space as part of a $1 billion investment in level crossing removal works in Coburg, Brunswick and Preston.

An elevated rail design will see the removal of four dangerous and congested level crossings on the Upfield line and another four on the Mernda line.

The crossings at Bell, Reynard and Munro Streets in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick will be gone for good next year. In 2020, major works will start in Preston to raise a section of the Mernda line - getting rid of level crossings at Murray Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Oakover Road by 2021.

As part of these projects, new stations will be built at Coburg, Moreland, Preston and Bell with the heritage-listed station buildings at Coburg and Moreland preserved. The Coburg and Brunswick communities will soon be invited to provide feedback on aspects of the project including the new open space and Upfield Bike Path improvements created by the elevated rail design.

This design also means the least amount of disruption — lowering the rail line would take at least 18 months longer.

In Preston, elevating the Mernda line will also mean new open space and will minimise the length of disruption.

About 150,000 vehicles pass through these eight level crossings in Melbourne’s inner north each day – more than use the Western Ring Road. The boom gates can be down for up to 40 per cent of the two-hour morning peak.   Combined, these crossings have seen more than 50 near misses since 2005, two serious injuries and one fatality.

For more information visit

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