City pushes Ring Road funding case

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

A submission for Federal Government funding for the remaining stages of the Albany Ring Road project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The Albany Advertiser understands a business case from the State Government for stages two and three of the Albany Ring Road will go to Infrastructure Australia before the end of the year — a final costing of the project has not yet been completed.

The State is seeking 80 per cent of the remaining project cost from the Federal Government.

The cost estimate of the project is $172 million with $35 million of funding currently allocated by the State Government.

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The City of Albany continued to push its case for the long-awaited stages two and three of the project this week at the National Local Roads and Transport Congress at Albany Entertainment Centre.

The ring road project stalled at stage one — Menang Drive — which was completed in 2007, and no funding was allocated to the next two stages to create a heavy haulage route around the Albany CBD and into the port. Visiting Albany for the national congress, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said he had spoken with State Transport Minister Rita Saffioti on the current status of the submission.

“I’m expecting the State Government to provide a business case to me in the next few months and it’s a question of working out what it’s going to cost and how we are going to pay for it,” he said.

“The State Government needs to do its homework, get us a business case and we will work out how it’s going to be paid for.

“We need to look at the whole cost-benefit analysis, how that all stacks up and then how we can work through a process of finding the money to get it done.

“That is still going to take some months and I understand the people will be frustrated by that, but we need to make sure we do the homework and come up with a solution that will last generations into the future. Let’s get it right the first time.”

At the National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Albany on Tuesday, Main Roads Great Southern regional manager Andrew Duffield showed a conceptual fly over presentation of what the completed ring road project could look like.

Mr Duffield said the project would be a “game changer for Albany” and would provide heavy haulage operators an uninterrupted access to the port on a 90km/h ultimately dual carriage way.

He said once funding was obtained for the final two stages, the project would take between two to three years to complete.

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