Project Objective

“To gain commitment from the State Government and Opposition to construct the southern connection from the Murdoch Activity Centre to the Kwinana Freeway to reduce congestion, improve traffic flows and facilitate better access for emergency vehicles and people by 2014.”

Estimated Cost

South West Group is seeking the State Government to provide $15 million over the next two years to put in place this short term solution.

Project Objective

“To gain commitment from the State Government and Opposition to construct the southern connection from the Murdoch Activity Centre to the Kwinana Freeway to reduce congestion, improve traffic flows and facilitate better access for emergency vehicles and people by 2014.”

Introduction

The Murdoch Activity Centre will be one of the largest employment centres outside of the Perth Central Business District (CBD), with an estimated workforce of 35,000 at full development. The Fiona Stanley Hospital, expansions of St John of God Murdoch Hospital and Challenger Institute of Technology as well as proposed establishment of a Mixed Use Precinct (MUP) and urban/commercial developments at Murdoch University will place significant pressure on access to the activity centre.

Key Issues & Solutions

The existing traffic in and around the Murdoch Activity Centre is already experiencing unacceptable congestion and traffic grid lock during extended periods of the day, with adverse impacts on emergency and police services unable to access or egress from the site in emergency situations. Extensive queuing of traffic along Farrington Road, South Street and Murdoch Drive is a common occurrence during extended AM and PM peak periods. Safety concerns for students, patients and other pedestrians using the area have been raised as an ongoing issue.

The proposed establishment of the Roe Highway extension between the Kwinana Freeway and Stock Road included provision for southern freeway and highway access to the Murdoch Activity Centre, however this project is a longer term option (post 2018) and is subject to pending environmental and funding approvals.

A short term southern freeway access option for the Murdoch Activity Centre is required to service the Fiona Stanley Hospital, which is due to commence taking patients in April 2014. The Murdoch Activity Centre Structure Plan (Part A) showed the realignment and southern extension of Murdoch Drive to a freeway connecting road along the Roe Highway extension road reserve, however the $100M plus cost for this temporary arrangement resulted in this option being disregarded.

Traffic modelling indicates that there will be significant congestion at South Street and on Kwinana Freeway in the AM peak when Fiona Stanley Hospital opens in 2014. By 2021, Main Roads Western Australia modelling shows over 50,000 vehicles a day will use the Murdoch Drive/South Street intersection. Main Roads Western Australia has been working on an alternative north bound freeway exit proposal with a direct connection to Farrington Road. This proposal provides interim southern access into the Murdoch Activity Centre via a temporary off-ramp from Kwinana Freeway northbound to Farrington Road.

Southern Freeway Connection - Murdoch Activity Centre Arial Map

This proposal is an “access in” only connection and access out of Murdoch Activity Centre will be via the existing network, with Kwinana Freeway northbound and southbound entries required to travel along Murdoch Drive to South Street. The upgrading of the Murdoch Drive/Farrington Road roundabout intersection and additional right hand turning lanes from Murdoch Drive onto South Street are proposals aimed to complement the Murdoch Activity Centre southern freeway access proposal.

Transport proposals put forward for the Murdoch Activity Centre, and previously supported by the South West Group, included a direct tunnel connection between the freeway and the hospital precinct and grade separation at the Murdoch Drive/South Street intersection. These options were not supported by the State Government, who has opted for more short term alternatives to coincide with the proposed opening of the Fiona Stanley Hospital in April 2014.

A short term option for southern freeway access to the Murdoch Activity Centre is required and the South West Group supports the current proposal, given that it is likely to be the only option that is capable of being constructed in time for the opening of the Fiona Stanley Hospital.

South West Group Position

The South West Group has been a strong advocate for the establishment of an efficient and resilient transport network to support the development of the Murdoch Activity Centre.

Estimated Cost

South West Group is seeking the State Government to provide $15 million over the next two years to put in place this short term solution.