Busy Orrong Road is set to undergo a massive makeover in an effort to ease congestion.
Orrong Road carries approximately 65,000 motorists daily, with traffic volumes forecast to increase to 100,000 by 2031 says Main Roads WA.
The four-kilometre stretch from the Graham Farmer Freeway to Leach Highway currently takes 15 minutes on average according to Uber Movement.
Main Roads says this same trip will take just five minutes when the expressway is built.
Mayor of Belmont Phil Marks says he and the City of Belmont support the proposal.
“We saw a preliminary plan about twelve months ago, the way they’re talking about it, it sounds like they’re going to go ahead and do it,” he said.
Proposals to widen Orrong Road to six lanes were heard but not considered with Main Roads preferring the concept of lowering the road.
The reasons in favour of lowering Orrong Road include limiting the amount of traffic noise and avoiding visual intrusion.
Mayor Marks added that concerns around access to houses and small businesses along Orrong Road are unwarranted.
“The idea is to drop the six lanes down, then there will be a road alongside the channel that will service the houses of Belmont on one side and Vic Park on the other,” Councillor Marks said.
“The number of shops along Orrong Road are pretty scant and the people who are in a hurry doing a transfer to the airport aren’t stopping at these shops.
“If you remember back to the times of the Barnett government, Troy Buswell had an idea of raising Orrong Road and doing it that way … this is the reverse of what he was planning to do,” he said.
Lathlain resident Jordan Fitzgerald welcomes the proposed upgrade but was skeptical of how realistic it is.
“I use Orrong Road most days because I work in Canning Vale… traffic is getting worse there’s no doubt about it,” he said.
“Something needs to be done to ease congestion, I’ll believe it when I see it built.
“In saying that it sounds like it’s a realistic possibility this time around so fingers crossed they get the funding,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
A community drop-in session will be held at the Rivervale Community Centre on Wednesday the 12th of June before the consultation period closes on Saturday the 22nd.