Construction of the Albany Ring Road has entered its final stages, with the project on track to be completed and open to road users before the middle of the year.
The new road will divert heavy vehicles around Albany improving freight efficiency, reducing congestion and improving safety on existing local routes including Albany Highway.
With new bridges now in place at the South Coast Highway and Frenchman Bay Road interchanges, works are currently focused on construction of the road surface between Lancaster Road and Princess Royal Drive, along with installation of safety barriers, signs and road markings.
The completion of the project is expected to streamline traffic in the Great Southern.
Over the coming months, completed sections of the Ring Road are expected to open incrementally and be connected to the existing road network.
This will begin with the section between the Albany Highway interchange and the South Coast Highway bridge in March.
Upon completion, the project will establish an 11-kilometre free-flowing connection between Albany Highway and Princess Royal Drive, including three grade-separated interchanges at Albany Highway, South Coast Highway and Frenchman Bay Road.
The State Government has also confirmed construction of a new $37 million flyover at the intersection of Menang Drive and Chester Pass Road will begin in late 2024.
The new flyover will maximise the efficiency of the Albany Ring Road route by providing free flowing access from Chester Pass Road all the way to the port.
The existing intersection has a combined daily traffic volume exceeding 6,000 vehicles, of which 54 per cent are heavy vehicles.
The new flyover will make the westbound turning movement from Chester Pass Road to the Albany Ring Road (Menang Drive) free-flowing, removing the need for trucks to queue in the turning lane before making a right turn across oncoming northbound traffic.
Concept designs and initial site investigations for the new flyover are well-progressed and will continue during the first half of the year according to the Government.
Construction is expected to begin in late 2024, with the new interchange to open in 2025.
The Albany Ring Road project is jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments.
“The Albany Ring Road is a strategically important project, underpinning the long-term economic strength of the Port of Albany and supporting local jobs,” said WA Premier Roger Cook:
“The new interchange at Menang Drive and Chester Pass Road will allow the full benefits of the Ring Road project to be realised, improving freight efficiency and the competitiveness of our exports from the Great Southern.”
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the Albany Ring Road is the largest infrastructure project ever delivered in the Great Southern region and will provide a safe, efficient, free-flowing route for heavy vehicles accessing the port.
“Importantly, the project will also remove heavy vehicles from the existing network, improving safety on Chester Pass Road, Albany Highway and South Coast Highway, and enhancing amenity for local residents and visitors alike,” she said.
“The additional interchange at Menang Drive and Chester Pass Road will allow the final link in the Albany Ring Road connection to be delivered, complementing the other new interchanges at Albany Highway, South Coast Highway and Frenchman Bay Road.”
Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens described the project, which had invested $50 million in local businesses, as a gamechanger for contractors and suppliers in the Great Southern region.
“Approximately $6 million has been spent on Aboriginal businesses and suppliers, while 10.5 per cent of the construction workforce hours have been completed by local Aboriginal people,” she said.
“The State Government’s commitment to deliver the additional flyover at Menang Drive and Chester Pass Road will continue the pipeline of local investment and support for our region.”