Monday, June 24, 2024

Albany Ring Road officially opened

Albany Ring Road – the biggest road infrastructure project ever undertaken in Western Australia’s Great Southern region – has today been officially opened.

The ring road has delivered an 11-kilometre connection between the original section of Menang Drive east of Albany Highway and Princess Royal Drive, including three grade-separated interchanges at Albany Highway, South Coast Highway and Hanrahan Road.

The new road will divert heavy vehicles around Albany, improving freight efficiency and underpinning the long-term economic viability of Albany Port.

“The Albany Ring Road is a once-in-a-generation project for the Great Southern region, providing a free-flowing freight connection around the city and taking heavy vehicles off existing routes,” said WA Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti.

“The issue of heavy vehicles having to use local roads to access the port has long been a concern, which is why our Government made this commitment to the people of Albany and the Great Southern.

“Removing heavy vehicles from the existing local network will improve safety on Chester Pass Road, Albany Highway and South Coast Highway and enhance amenity for local residents and visitors alike.

“The new ring road will support the future economic growth of Albany and the Great Southern region by making truck movements to and from the Port of Albany as efficient as possible.”

Upon opening, the completed ring road will be known as Menang Drive, in recognition of the Menang Noongar people, the area’s Traditional Owners.

In addition to the project, significant improvements to the local cycling network have been made, including a new shared path on the Frenchman Bay Road bridge which will link the Torndirrup Peninsula with the existing network north of the freight rail line.

“It is wonderful to see the Albany Ring Road, a critical project for Western Australia’s Great Southern region, become fully operational,” said Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King.

“This project is safeguarding the long-term viability and efficiency of the Port of Albany by providing free‑flowing road access.

“This will ultimately improve competitiveness of exports from the region.”

Other additional works to be carried out over the winter months include the installation of artworks on the abutments of each of the three bridges. The artworks have been developed by local artists and their concepts take inspiration from the spectacular local landscapes.

Meanwhile, the State Government has committed for a new flyover at the intersection of Menang Drive and Chester Pass Road.  

It’s hoped 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 $225 million project is jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments, with the Australian Government contributing $173 million, including an additional $33 million funded in the 2024-25 Federal Budget.

Quotes attributable to Senator for Western Australia Varun Ghosh:

“The Albany Ring Road Project provides critical road safety and freight efficiency upgrades, which will help contractors and suppliers in the Great Southern region.

“The Albany Ring Road will provide more efficient access to the Port of Albany – an investment in infrastructure in Western Australia that assists our export industries.

“The Albany Ring Road will improve the local road network and will allow safer and better access for residents and visitors to the Torndirrup Peninsula, which is home to some of Albany’s most spectacular tourist destinations.”

Quotes attributable to State Member for Albany Rebecca Stephens:

“The Albany Ring Road project has been an economic boost for the local area, supporting businesses and providing pathways for local workers to access the construction industry.

“The staged opening of the project has already improved traffic flow and I look forward to experiencing a reduction in congestion and truck numbers on other major routes into Albany with the opening of the Menang Drive through route.” 

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