About NorthLink WA
When will NorthLink WA be finished?
NorthLink WA is being built in three sections – southern, central and northern.
- Southern Section: Guildford Road to Reid Highway construction is underway and due for completion mid-2018
- Central Section: Reid Highway to Ellenbrook construction is underway and due for completion end-2019
- Northern Section: Ellenbrook to Muchea construction will soon be underway and is due for completion end-2019
What benefits will it bring?
NorthLink WA has a long term vision to cater for the expected traffic volumes of a future Perth population of 3.5 million. There is limited opportunity for further upgrades to the existing Great Northern Highway, where growing traffic volumes are impacting on the community. Commuters, tourists, freight and other road users use this route to travel between Perth and the State’s north.
Tonkin Highway will be upgraded to freeway-standard, free-flowing link from Collier Road to Reid Highway. This will improve amenity in local communities by attracting vehicles away from local roads.
A new 37 km highway will be built between Tonkin Highway, Reid Highway and Muchea.
Shifting the majority of heavy vehicles from Great Northern Highway onto NorthLink WA will improve amenity in the Swan Valley for residents and the 600,000 tourists who visit the area each year.
Once complete, NorthLink WA will offer a non-stop route between Morley and Muchea, with associated travel time savings.
Connecting NorthLink WA and Tonkin Highway will further increase the importance of Tonkin Highway as a north-south route, linking to industrial areas such as the Airport and Kewdale precincts.
What improvements will I see on the Southern Section?
Traffic is now free flowing with no traffic signals. Collier Road has been realigned and raised over Tonkin Highway with connections via on and off ramps (similar to Tonkin Highway and Horrie Miller Drive).
Traffic is moving across the bridge over Morley Drive. A roundabout-style interchange operates at ground level on Morley Drive to link with the bridge. This is the first interchange of this type to be built in WA.
A top down method was used to construct the bridge at Collier Road. Collier Road has been realigned to the south and raised to go over Tonkin Highway with on and off ramps connecting the two roads. Collier Road has two lanes in both directions between Beechboro Road South and Grey Street / Jackson Street.
The flyover at Benara Road is open to traffic and will be complete in April 2018.
Find out more information on our dedicated Southern Section page.
What’s happening on the central section?
Construction has started on the new highway between Reid Highway and Maralla Road which will provide a free-flowing link to Ellenbrook.
There will be new interchanges at Reid Highway, Hepburn Avenue, Gnangara Road and The Promenade.
New flyovers are under construction at Marshall Road and Beechboro Road North.
Critical work is underway to lay more than five million square metres of asphalt, which is more than 640,000 tonnes total.
The traffic signals at Reid Highway and Beechboro Road North has been replaced by a temporary roundabout. Traffic modelling using real-time traffic data has shown a roundabout will bring an improvement in intersection performance, and allow safe construction of the Beechboro Road North flyover.
From mid-2018 a temporary roundabout will replace traffic signals at Reid Highway and Tonkin Highway intersection and traffic will be switched onto the new Reid Highway alignment. From late-2018 ramps will progressively open to traffic.
There will be a new interchanges at Reid Highway, Hepburn Avenue, Gnangara Road and The Promenade.
Find out more information on our dedicated Central Section page.
Is Altone Road part of NorthLink WA?
Works have been underway since August 2017 to upgrade the Altone Road and Reid Highway intersection as part of the central section (Reid Highway to Ellenbrook).
The works provide an additional through-lane for Altone Road, together with extended turning pockets to Reid Highway. The works are an important part in upgrading Reid Highway to a dual carriageway from Tonkin Highway to Altone Road.
What's happening on the Northern Section?
Design work is nearing completion and clearing and pre-construction work is well under way.
Earthworks are also in full swing with top soil stripping and foundation preparation continuing. Fencing works are well advanced and construction of culverys has begun.
The northern section includes a dual carriageway from Ellenbrook to Muchea, with interchanges at Stock Road and Neaves Road and a flyover at Muchea South Road and the freight rail line.
Find out more information on our dedicated Northern Section page.
What can motorists expect?
Motorists travelling through the area may experience changes in traffic conditions in coming months. Speed limits around the works may be reduced and sometimes there will be lane closures. Some night works and detours will be required throughout the works to provide motorists with safe, alternative access while we complete the works. We appreciate your patience while the construction work in underway.
What are grade separations, interchanges and flyovers?
The term grade separation refers to points where roads, railways or paths cross each other at different levels. Grade separations are constructed to keep traffic flowing, reduce delays and improve journey reliability and safety on the corridor.
An interchange is where two or more roads cross each other at different levels, with at least one of the roads free flowing. Ramps are provided so that vehicles can get on or off the free flowing road.
A flyover is a bridge carrying one road over another, with no connection between the two roads.
Where will interchanges or flyovers be built along the route?
Interchanges: Collier Road, Morley Drive, Reid Highway, Hepburn Avenue, Gnangara Road, The Promenade, Stock Road and Neaves Road.
Flyovers: Benara Road, Marshall Road, Reid Highway and Beechboro Road North, Muchea South Road and the freight rail line.
What is a property condition survey?
Property condition surveys document the state of a property’s condition prior to works starting. Surveys have been or are being conducted for properties located up to 100 metres from the boundary of the NorthLink WA corridor. The survey involves a thorough visual inspection including photographs to produce a detailed report of the building’s condition that is provided to each owner.
How is noise, dust and vibration being managed during construction?
Construction noise will be managed in accordance with Local Government requirements and approvals, including City of Bayswater, City of Swan, Shire of Chittering and Town of Bassendean.
The majority of construction work is happening between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday. To minimise traffic delays and impacts on utility services such as water and power, some work will need to be completed at night. Details of out of hours work will be communicated to impacted residents before night works begin.
Contractors are required to use the quietest machinery and work methods, and undertake regular servicing of machinery to avoid unnecessary noise. In addition, noise monitoring is in place during night works and the construction teams are notified immediately in the case of exceeding the prescribed limits.
Sign up for updates by emailing email@example.com or call our Customer Information Centre on 138 138 if you have any concerns.
Where will noise walls be built?
Extensive noise modelling was carried out using noise monitoring equipment to record the existing noise levels from the highway. Noise modelling takes into account factors such as the proposed traffic speed, predicted future traffic volumes, road surface, height of the new highway and the distance to properties.
The noise wall installation has been carried out various locations along the Tonkin and Reid Highways between the road and residential properties. The positioning of the walls is dependent on the road design and the available road reserve. The tight constraints of the existing road reserve means that many noise/screen walls are installed along the outside of property boundaries.
All noise walls are built in accordance with the noise level objectives required by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) Road and Rail Noise Policy (State Planning Policy 5.4).
The majority of noise walls are made of concrete panels and posts, and help reduce noise levels for residential properties located close to the new highway alignment.
How high will the noise walls be?
The height of the noise walls start at 2.4 m and vary along the alignment depending on the distance between residential properties and the highway, and the location of the properties in relation to the new road levels. The noise walls have been designed to reduce the impact of noise levels predicted on the highway up to 2040.
What is a screen wall?
A screen wall is provided to protect a resident’s privacy from traffic passing their back yard. Screen walls are generally constructed of the same material as noise walls. Some may have Perspex (or similar) along the top.
What will screen walls look like?
Screen walls will look the same as the noise walls. The majority will be made of concrete panels and steel posts.
How high will the screen walls be?
The height of screen walls varies along the alignment depending on the distance between residential properties and the highway, and the location of the properties in relation to the new road levels. They are high enough so that drivers of vehicles and pedestrians using the shared path can’t see into residential back yards.
Changes to amenity
Will Hampton Park Primary School still have a pedestrian underpass?
Yes. Extensive consultation was carried out with the school community and a new, long underpass has been built. It runs on the alignment of Hamersley Avenue linking to Abbey Street on the eastern side of Tonkin Highway and provide improved visibility to ensure student safety. See the Access to Hampton Park Primary School Fact Sheet. Safe options for children attending the school have been implemented throughout construction.
Why did Abbey Street have to close?
Abbey Street closed on 24 June 2016. When NorthLink WA is complete, the Tonkin Highway interchange at Morley Drive will be a free-flowing roundabout at ground level, with Tonkin Highway passing over the top. The new roundabout will be very close to Abbey Street and will have vehicles travelling at relatively high traffic speeds. If Abbey Street was to stay open it would result in fewer gaps for exiting traffic and an increased risk of vehicle crashes. See the Access Changes to Abbey Street Fact Sheet.
What is happening with access at Lightning Park?
Access to Lightning Park was required to change as a result of upgrading Tonkin Highway and Reid Highway to a fast flowing freeway-to-freeway interchange.
After consultation with local stakeholders, the City of Bayswater constructed local road modifications to accommodate changed access into Lightning Park from Della Road and Matthews Close with exit via Matthews Close onto Maxwell Street and Cardwell Avenue.
A further solution to provide a direct exit from Lightning Park to Reid Highway is currently in design and will be constructed in early 2018. Please call our Customer Information Centre on 138 138 for more information.
Will access to Bennett Springs and Beechboro be cut off when NorthLink WA is complete?
Access from Reid Highway will change, but it definitely won't be cut off. The Interactive Map can help you plan your new travel routes.
Why is access to Bennett Springs and Beechboro changing?
The new Reid Highway and Tonkin Highway interchange is a vitally important park of NorthLink WA, and will be designed to keep traffic moving at high speeds between two major freeways. The upgraded interchange will have up to eight lanes merging and diverging in very close proximity to the intersections of Beechboro Road North, Marshall Road and Benara Road.
Keeping the previously operational intersections in place would present unacceptable safety risks to motorists. These roads are being turned into flyovers, providing safe, free-flowing highway crossings for local motorists.
Won't I have to backtrack and travel further to get in and out of Bennett Springs and Beechboro?
You'll need to find the best route that works for you. Depending on direction of travel, you may prefer using the new Morley Drive interchange, the new Hepburn Avenue interchange, Malaga Drive intersection, or the newly-upgraded Altone Road intersection.
Before design was finalised for NorthLink WA, we did extensive traffic modelling to ensure local residents would not be unduly impacted. NorthLink WA will remove traffic signals and add extra lanes to the freeway network. This means when using new access points, Bennett Springs and Beechboro residents will enjoy a saving of up to 20 per cent in travel time compared with previously.
There'll be no more idling at traffic signals, or crawling in congestion. Your journey will be faster and safer every time.
What are the benefits of changed access at Bennett Springs and Beechboro?
Not only will you save time travelling on the freeway network, you'll also enjoy less congestion in your local area. With traffic using the newly extended Tonkin Highway to get to and from Ellenbrook and beyond, you'll see a significant reduction in heavy vehicles, rat running and non-locals using your roads as a thoroughfare.
You'll find it easier to walk and cycle around your neighbourhood. And with the construction of noise walls, extensive landscaping and urban design, you'll enjoy greater peace and quiet, and improved amenity.
For more information view our Fact Sheet about road network changes for Bennett Springs and Beechboro residents.
What is happening to Beechboro Road North, and will there be any impact on Whiteman Park and Cullacabardee?
NorthLink WA passes through Whiteman Park and to the east of Cullacabardee on an alignment that is generally parallel to and west of Beechboro Road North. On completion, Beechboro Road North will be closed south of Gnangara Road and will become a cul-de-sac accessible from Hepburn Avenue. Ongoing engagement continues with key stakeholders, including Cullacabardee, the Keith Maine Centre and Whiteman Park sporting clubs, to ensure access will be maintained and impacts will be minimised.
Why did the alignment change from Drumpellier Drive and Lord Street?
A strategic road network review confirmed the preferred alignment for NorthLink WA between Reid Highway and Maralla Road, Bullsbrook. The review showed that extending Tonkin Highway was preferred over the Lord Street alignment as it:
- provides a more logical and effective transport network;
- provides a more direct connection to Tonkin Highway for commuter traffic and freight transport to industrial areas;
- has less social impact on existing and future residential areas between Ellenbrook and Reid Highway; and
- will allow for a future road connection to East Wanneroo.
Why is there an interchange at Stock Road instead of Warbrook Road?
The location of proposed interchanges reflects current land use planning and is consistent with the North East Corridor Expansion Strategy, endorsed by the WA Planning Commission. It is also consistent with and supports broader land use planning in the Bullsbrook area by the City of Swan.
The interchanges at and adjacent to Ellenbrook have been designed to accommodate predicted traffic to the year 2050, including all known planned development. The Promenade interchange will therefore provide sufficient capacity to serve Ellenbrook access to the new Tonkin Highway. The Stock Road location minimises the impact on the Twin Swamps Wildlife Sanctuary (adjacent to Warbrook Road), which has international significance and is covered by Environmental Protection Policy.
How close is NorthLink WA to residential properties?
In the Southern Section, Tonkin Highway has been widened in the current road reserve. In the Central Section around Ellenbrook, the new road and intersections will be in the current road reserve, which borders some properties.
The Perth Darwin National Highway corridor at Ellenbrook was established in 1994, before planning approval was given for the development of residential land east of the corridor.
The original road reservation was identified to minimise environmental impacts, and the highway will be within this reservation.
During 2014-2015, the Central Community Reference Group provided community input to the conceptual design, and discussed how the new highway will interface with Ellenbrook.
Some Ellenbrook residents expressed concern about the closeness of the proposed exit ramp to their homes, and the concept design was amended to address this.
Closer to Bullsbrook and Muchea, the alignment mainly passes through rural land and the distance from residences varies from location to location. We have been liaising with property owners since 2003, and will continue to do so until after project completion.
Why is there so much clearing?
NorthLink WA is striving to achieve balanced and sustainable outcomes for the community. Where vegetation needed to be cleared, revegetation and landscaping opportunities have been identified. Additional rehabilitation is also planned for degraded areas of bush close by NorthLink WA. Responsible environmental stewardship in developing and maintaining the road network is critical to our success.
We are committed to:
- Protecting and enhancing the environmental values of road reserves;
- Minimising the impact on the natural environment of roads and road use; and
- Conserving natural resources and minimising energy consumption and waste.
Environmental impacts of NorthLink WA must be managed as part of construction. All clearing is undertaken in accordance with Native Vegetation Clearing Permits from the WA Department of Environment and Regulation and Environmental Management Plans ensure that we carefully manage the local environment and meet strict environmental conditions determined by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). This includes identifying and relocating wildlife (by licensed fauna handlers) to safe areas prior to starting clearing works.
Sustainability and environment
How sustainable is NorthLink WA?
We aim to create lasting benefits through an integrated consideration of social, environmental and economic aspects in all that we do. Sustainability is a key objective for NorthLink WA.
Our Southern Section team has achieved the second highest Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) rating in Australia for its sustainability initiatives achieving an outstanding rating of 93.
Find out more information on our dedicated Sustainability page.
What will NorthLink WA offer cyclists and pedestrians?
Safe, pedestrian and cycling facilities will be provided for the entire length of NorthLink WA from Morley to Muchea. A four metre-wide shared path is being constructed alongside Tonkin Highway, a full metre wider than the current shared paths on the road network.
The path will have a number of connection points into local path networks, meaning pedestrians and cyclists will have improved ways of commuting and recreating between communities.
Can I cycle along Tonkin Highway or Reid Highway during construction?
Cyclists are unable to use Tonkin Highway between Guildford Road and Reid Highway, or Reid Highway between Altone Road and Malaga Drive. Cyclists will be redirected to routes that ensure their safety during construction. On completion, new cycling and pedestrian facilities, including a four metre-wide shared path will be available alongside Tonkin Highway and Reid Highway.
Does NorthLink WA allow for future public transport options?
Yes. There is provision for future public transport options, including allowance for rail transport between the carriageways of Tonkin Highway. For more information, phone Metronet on (08) 9326 3666.
What environmental approvals is NorthLink WA subject to?
Environmental approval has been granted to all sections of NorthLink WA.
NorthLink WA has been assessed by the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and approved under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.
The State Department of Environment Regulation has granted a Native Vegetation Clearing Permit.
For more detail on environmental approvals see the Environment and Sustainability page on this website
What landscaping is planned for NorthLink WA?
An important part of landscaping involves creating a ‘Wildflower Way’, designed to both assist drivers in wayfinding, and to showcase Western Australia’s uniquely diverse flora.
All species planned for the Southern Section are locally found within the Swan Coastal Plain area and will display an array of red, blue, white, and yellow flowers between the months of June and December.
Once landscaping is complete, more than 35 hectares of the site will feature new higher ecological value vegetation, which is 2.5 hectares more than what was there previously.
In addition to increasing the sites’ vegetation, the amount of irrigated landscaping has been significantly reduced from 13,000 cubic metres to 5,500 cubic metres saving more than five million litres of water every year.
For the Central Section, there will be more than two million trees and 800 kg of seed used in landscaping.