Councillor joins wider highway call

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser

A second Great Southern councillor has jumped behind a proposal to widen Albany Highway, urging, “we need to start the process today”.

Plantagenet Shire president Chris Pavlovich said widening Albany Highway, a proposal reported in the Albany Advertiser last week, would benefit the entire region.

“Planning needs to start today to address the rapid increase in traffic on our major highway,” Mr Pavlovich said.

“Bunbury now has dual lanes from and to Perth; Geraldton has two options with the Brand Highway and the Indian Ocean Drive.

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“(Meanwhile) Perth to Albany is a deteriorating second-rate highway with a handful of new passing lanes.”

Earlier this month Albany councillor Robert Sutton said he wanted Albany Highway widened to be like the Forrest Highway, which links Mandurah and Bunbury.

Forrest Highway is a 110km/h motorway with two two-lane roads separated by a nature strip.

Mr Pavlovich said upgrades should begin at the Perth end, with a focus on tackling heavy traffic areas.

“As a regular commuter to Perth from Mt Barker, Perth to Williams is an obvious start point; however, the Albany to Mt Barker section is also experiencing rapid growth in daily commuters,” he said.

“Planning for such upgrades can take 15 to 30 years if the Albany Ring Road is the benchmark, so yes we need to start the process today.

“A divided road is proven to dramatically increase safety and reduce fatalities. My thoughts are that this alone is a catalyst for serious planning action.”

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