WA’s Biggest Road Project Wraps Up

NorthLink WA is a non-stop, freeway-standard highway providing an efficient alternative freight route, taking about 80 per cent of trucks off Great Northern Highway.

NorthLink WA is a vital component of a wider series of improvements to the Perth to Darwin National Highway.

Opening the northern section of NorthLink WA was the final piece of the puzzle taking pressure off Great Northern Highway through the Swan Valley and improving amenity for local communities and the 600,000 tourists visiting each year.

The project team overcame a number of challenges including large areas of groundwater levels close to the surface. This resulted in many culverts constructed on rock blankets, to provide a suitable foundation.

The construction team also laid a 10-kilometre section of paving using a paving machine – the first use of the technology since trialling it on the New Perth Bunbury project. The project successfully completed the section, which is monitored for performance.

Jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Western Australian Government, the $1.02 billion initiative engaged three separate contractors between June 2016 and April 2020: southern section, John Holland; central section, BGC and Laing O’Rourke joint venture; and northern section, CPB Contracting.

The southern section upgraded the highway between Guildford Road, Bayswater and Reid Highway, Malaga including new grade-separated interchanges and flyovers.

The central and northern section included construction of a link from the intersection of Reid and Tonkin Highways to tie into the Great Northern and Brand Highways at Muchea.

Ellenbrook residents are the big winners with their journey time to Morley reduced by 50 per cent from 28 to 14 minutes.

The new Principal Shared Path is popular with cyclists now enjoying a four-metre wide path for the entire 42 kilometres of the highway. Holidaymakers can now tow caravans direct to Brand Highway without the interruptions of Great Northern Highway.

Building on the success of NorthLink WA, 2020 will see the new Tonkin Highway Gap Project commence to upgrade Tonkin Highway between Collier Road and Dunreath Drive, closing the gap between the NorthLink WA and Gateway WA initiatives.

View of Northlink road with light poles