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 now complete
- Central Section: Reid Highway to Ellenbrook construction is due for completion in September 2019
- Northern Section: Ellenbrook to Muchea construction is underway and due for completion in early February 2020
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 has been upgraded to a 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 extension of Tonkin Highway is partly complete between 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.
Commuters travelling from Ellenbrook to Morley will halve their travel time, saving around 12 minutes on each journey.
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 Perth Airport and Kewdale precincts.
What improvements have been realised on the Southern Section?
Construction on the southern section was completed mid-2018. Traffic is now travelling on a freeway standard, free flowing link with six lanes between Guildford Road and Reid Highway.
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). It has two lanes in both directions between Beechboro Road South and Grey Street / Jackson Street. A top down method was used to construct the bridge at Collier Road.
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.
The flyover at Benara Road is now efficiently managing the east-west traffic.
Find out more information on our dedicated Southern Section page.
What’s happening on the central section?
Construction is partly complete on the new highway between Reid Highway and Maralla Road which will provide a free-flowing link to Ellenbrook.
New interchanges at Reid Highway, Hepburn Avenue, Gnangara Road (partially) are now open to traffic. Flyovers at Marshall Road and Beechboro Road North are operational, taking traffic over the highways.
Motorists heading north on Tonkin Highway can now travel to Gnangara Road. The final interchange in the central section, The Promenade, is almost complete and expected to open in late August 2019 with finishing works now under way.
Find out more information on our dedicated Central Section page.
What's happening on the Northern Section?
Construction is around 70% complete on the new highway between Ellenbrook and Muchea, which will connect motorists to Perth's north east.
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.
Construction is on track for completion end-2019.
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. As the works approach completion, there may be temporary speed reductions, lane closures and detours. We appreciate your patience while the construction work is under way and the finishing works are carried out.
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 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 enable vehicles to 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 are interchanges and flyovers 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 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.
As the project nears completion, the project team has been in touch with property owners to offer a post construction property survey. All property owners are encouraged to take up the survey to ensure an accurate comparison of their property before and after construction is documented.
How is noise, dust and vibration managed during construction?
Construction noise is 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Customer Information Centre on 138 138 if you have any concerns.
Why are there noise walls?
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.
Noise wall installation has been undertaken on various locations along the corridor between the road and residential properties. The positioning of 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 were installed along the outside of property boundaries.
All noise walls were 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 are the noise walls?
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 were 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.
Screen walls will look the same as the noise walls. The majority are made of concrete panels and steel posts.
How high are the screen walls?
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
Does 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 was implemented throughout construction.
Why did Abbey Street have to close?
Abbey Street closed on 24 June 2016. Tonkin Highway interchange at Morley Drive is a free-flowing roundabout at ground level, with Tonkin Highway passing over the top. This roundabout is very close to Abbey Street and will have vehicles travelling at relatively high traffic speeds. See the Access Changes to Abbey Street Fact Sheet.
Is there new 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 undertook 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 direct exit from Lightning Park to Reid Highway have been constructed and is open to traffic.
How do Bennett Springs and Beechboro residents access Tonkin Highway?
Reid and Tonkin Highway interchange is a vitally important part of NorthLink WA, designed to keep traffic moving at high speeds between two major freeways. The upgraded interchange has 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. Turning these roads into flyovers will provide safe, free-flowing highway crossings for local motorists. The Interactive Map can help you plan your new travel routes.
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 Morley Drive interchange, Hepburn Avenue interchange, Malaga Drive intersection, or the 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 has removed traffic signals and added extra lanes to the freeway network. This means when using new access points, Bennett Springs and Beechboro residents will experience a saving of up to 20 per cent in travel time.
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. Beechboro Road North is closed south of Gnangara Road and is now a cul-de-sac accessible from Hepburn Avenue. We engaged key stakeholders throughout construction, including Cullacabardee, the Keith Maine Centre and Whiteman Park sporting clubs, to ensure access was maintained and impacts 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 are 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 is within this reservation.
During 2014-2015, the Central Community Reference Group provided community input to the conceptual design, and discussed how the new highway would 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 were identified. Additional rehabilitation was implemented 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 were managed as part of construction. All clearing was 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 highest Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) rating in Australia and New Zealand for infrastructure projects for its sustainability initiatives achieving an outstanding rating of 95.2 points out of a possible 110.
Additionally, our Central Section has achieved an 'Excellent' rating for design.
Find out more information on our dedicated Sustainability page.
What does NorthLink WA offer cyclists and pedestrians?
Safe, pedestrian and cycling facilities are provided for the entire length of NorthLink WA from Morley to Muchea. A four metre-wide Principal Shared Path is partially open 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 travelling between communities.
Can I cycle along Tonkin Highway or Reid Highway during construction?
The new four metre-wide path is open from Benara Road to Gnangara Road. The rest of the path will open progressively along with the 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 (08) 9326 3666 or visit the METRONET website .
What environmental approvals is NorthLink WA subject to?
Environmental approval was granted to all sections of NorthLink WA.
NorthLink WA was 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 granted a Native Vegetation Clearing Permit.
For more detail on environmental approvals see the Environment and Sustainability page on this website
What landscaping will take place?
The Landscape and Urban Design Aesthetic focuses on our initiative of creating a ‘Wildflower Way’, designed to assist drivers in wayfinding and to showcase Western Australia’s uniquely diverse flora which will be embedded into the design at key intersections. Each section of NorthLink WA has a distinct colour palette, incorporating the natural flora colours found within each area.
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.
More than 35 hectares of this area 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.
In the Central Section, more than 1.5 million seedlings have been planted and approximately 750 kg of native seed has been sown along the Reid and Tonkin highways.
The two colour palettes for the Central Section consist of an Urban Accent of the dominant local flowering colours of yellow, orange and blue, and a Bush Accent consisting of dominant flowering colours of maroon, red and gold. Species selections include that of the Swan Coastal Plain and provide a seasonal mass flowering effect. The Wildflower Way planting palettes will provide a complementary and seasonal colour display for the four interchanges within this section.
The Northern Section’s aesthetics theme is “wetlands” which is reflected at each of the interchanges. At the Stock Road interchange, the colours are grey-green, orange, red and grey. These colours are incorporated in the bridge design and in the flowering plants which will include banksia, bottlebrush and featherflowers. At the Neaves Road interchange, the bridge design has pale greens, greys and mulberry colours, which will be reflected in brightly coloured Swan River myrtles and daisies.
Mass planting of flowering species with a bright yellow colour scheme will create a northern gateway entrance for road users at Brand Highway, Muchea. This intersection will also feature replanted grasstrees and raised laterite beds with mature plants, including melaleucas, eucalypts and marri.