Is Tonkin Highway going to be extended south of Thomas Road?
In 2019 State and Federal government funding was committed to extend Tonkin Highway south from Thomas Road in Oakford to South Western Highway in Mundijong.
The project is fully funded and the Federal and State Governments have committed a total of $505 M to this project ($404 M Federal & $101 M State). We have commenced planning and development works including traffic modelling and geotechnical surveys.
What is the project schedule?
The project’s 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 included in the project scope for the highway extension?
The current project scope proposes to extend Tonkin Highway 14 kilometres from Thomas Road, Oakford to South Western Highway, south of Mundijong. The preliminary concept includes:
- approximately 14 kilometres of four lane dual carriageway from Thomas Road to South Western Highway
- construction/upgrades of intersections at Thomas Road, Orton Road, Mundijong Road and South Western Highway
- a grade separated interchange at Bishop Road
- bridges over the existing freight rail line and Perth to Bunbury rail
Are there any changes planned for the freight railway line?
A planning study and assessment is required to determine if the proposed freight rail alignment in Mundijong is constructed at the same time.
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.
What work is being undertaken to assess the future freight rail realignment?
A freight rail realignment planning study is now underway to identify whether a future freight rail realignment can be constructed at the same time. This potentially removes the need for the Tonkin Highway / Bishop Road grade separated interchange to be constructed as part of the funded works.
We are in the process of identifying the private properties that may require early environmental and heritage investigations within the potential rail realignment corridor.
Outcomes of environmental surveys on these properties will inform the broader feasibility of undertaking any future rail realignment work along with the highway’s construction.
Where is the freight rail realignment project actually at within the SJ Shire, WA Planning, Lands & Heritage and Main Roads?
The proposal is included in WAPC/DPLH 3.5M sub-regional planning framework. However, there is currently no reservation for the rail realignment in the Metropolitan Regional Scheme (MRS).
The extension is a funded project and there is an opportunity to consider constructing the rail realignment at the same time as it has a significant impact on the scope/concept for this section of Tonkin Highway.
We are currently progressing the early planning investigations for the rail realignment as part of the project development work being progressed. This work will identify the potential for it to be delivered as part of the Tonkin Highway project.
There was provision included in the project for the rail realignment however further planning & development work is needed.
Who is championing the freight rail realignment? SJ Shire or WA Planning or some other party?
The rail realignment is included in the WAPC sub-regional planning framework and was identified to “improve the amenity of Mundijong and ameliorate severance effects” caused by the existing rail alignment.
What is the status of the Tonkin Highway extension environmental approvals?
The project has been referred to the federal environmental authority for consideration following flora and fauna surveys along the alignment during 2019. A period of public consultation, managed by the federal authority, will occur in early 2020.
Spring surveys were completed in October 2019, these will be used to inform the environmental management plans to be developed for the project.
Is the freight rail realignment project a confirmed ‘go-ahead’ project?
We are currently progressing the further planning for the rail realignment to identify the potential for the realignment to be constructed at the same time as the Tonkin Highway Extension to South Western Highway project.
What is the timeline of both projects?
The construction timeframes is subject to environmental and statutory approvals.
Further work is progressing on a planning study for a potential freight rail realignment. The planning study will identify whether it is feasible to include the freight rail realignment construction as part of the Tonkin Highway Extension to South Western Highway project.
If the rail realignment proceeds, what consideration has SJ Shire and WA Planning given, if any, to affected properties;
These items, and others, will be considered as part of the further planning and development work required.
Thomas Road, east of Tonkin – is Main Roads taking this section of road over, and is Main Roads upgrading it?
It is possible we may take over the road in the next 2-3 years.
The requirements for upgrading Thomas Road will be assessed and considered as part of planning work for Tonkin Highway, in particular the traffic modelling being carried out.
It is to be noted however, there is no funding for construction and is not included in the $505 M.
Will planning work consider the extension of Tonkin Highway further south?
Extending Tonkin Highway south of Mundijong Road was included in the WACP sub-regional planning framework and is considered a long-term proposal.
A short section of the future Tonkin Highway south of Mundijong Road will need to be planned for as part of the Tonkin Highway extension and potential freight rail realignment works.
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 will be undertaking extensive traffic assessment to confirm the treatments required at each intersection.
What would it cost to grade separate the intersections for the funded project 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 built as part of the project will be able be grade separated with minimal traffic disruption in the future.
Will Main Roads be providing a connection at Hopkinson Road and Tonkin Highway?
No, there will be no connection provided between Hopkinson Road and Tonkin Highway. Current planning indicates that Hopkinson Road will be a cul-de-sac either side of Tonkin Highway.
However, consideration can be given to retaining local access by maintaining Hopkinson Road under Tonkin Highway.
Will Abernethy Road be connected to Tonkin Highway?
No, there will be no connection provided between Abernethy Road and Tonkin Highway. An equine / pedestrian / cyclist underpass is currently planned at this location to maintain east west connectivity.
However, consideration can be given to retaining local access by maintaining Abernethy Road under Tonkin Highway.
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 engagement with 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.
Once Tonkin Highway is built 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 townsite, even with Tonkin Highway constructed.