Headway on freeway
EXTENSION PROJECT NEARS COMPLETION
THE Mitchell Freeway extension is taking shape as the $236.3 million project remains on track for completion by the middle of this year.
Main Roads spokesman Dean Roberts said numerous milestones were achieved during construction last year, including moving about 1.7 million cubic metres of soil and rocks during earthworks, installing 54 bridge beams for three new interchanges and building 3.5km of residential noise walls mostly along the western side of the extension.
“All 54 of the project’s bridge beams have used an innovative monolithic design to reduce construction materials, including savings of 1300 tonnes of concrete and 108 tonnes of steel reinforcement,” he said.
“The bridge beams were installed under strict rail shutdown periods and within tight work spaces.”
The design of the future freeway interchanges at Neerabup and Burns Beach roads and Hester Avenue incorporate roundabout-controlled on and off ramps rather than being signalised.
Other features include using open-grade asphalt in the freeway road surface, which is estimated to reduce the noise from tyres by a daily average of about 2.5 decibels when compared to dense-grade asphalt.
Mr Roberts said sustainability trials would happen this year, such as the installation of LED lights along the freeway.
“If the trial is successful, Main Roads will consider the option of upgrading the Main Roads network to LED lighting, to reduce long-term running and maintenance costs,” he said.
A 15 per cent mix of recycled and crushed glass will go into the road sub-base along a 150m strip of Wanneroo Road as another trial, to reduce landfill, the reliance of virgin quarry sites for limestone and energy involved in producing road building materials.
Mr Roberts said the revegetation process would include more than 300,000 native plants and mulch recycled from cleared vegetation, about 90 per cent of the project waste was currently recycled and eight fauna underpasses were being created across the site.
“To mitigate fauna impact, clearing works were scheduled during winter, outside the endangered black cockatoos’ nesting season, and extensive trapping to relocate native species was undertaken prior to clearing,” he said.
“On the construction front, pavement and asphalting works are now well under way as the freeway opening draws near.
“Soon, finishing works will also commence across the project area, such as signage installation, barrier construction and principal shared path works.”
Asphalting works along the Neerabup Road extension.
Concrete barrier construction works along the Mitchell Freeway extension.
View of progress along the Mitchell Freeway extension from Neerabup Road, looking north.