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Parts of $215m Albany Ring Road to open as largest project in Great Southern nears completion

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
The overpass bridge at Hanrahan and Frenchman Bay Roads is set to open March 28.
Camera IconThe overpass bridge at Hanrahan and Frenchman Bay Roads is set to open March 28. Credit: Laurie Benson

The community should notice an immediate impact when sections of the $215 million Albany Ring Road open later this week.

A 3.5km section of road linking Menang Drive to South Coast Highway and its associated interchange will be open to traffic from Wednesday.

The new section of road will enable traffic to bypass the built-up areas of Albany on Chester Pass Road and the highway.

The Frenchman Bay Road Bridge will then open from Thursday to smooth the traffic flow between some of Albany’s southern suburbs and tourist attractions.

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The bridge’s opening is expected to immediately ease traffic travelling to and from areas such as Little Grove, Big Grove, Robinson and beyond, which has often faced lengthy delays since early February.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said outstanding progress had been made to complete the new interchanges and road pavement works over summer.

“This the largest ever infrastructure project undertaken in the Great Southern Region and will provide a safe, efficient, free-flowing route for heavy vehicles accessing the port and remove those same vehicles from the local roads they’re currently using,” she said.

“The opening of the Frenchman Bay Road Bridge and connecting roundabouts is a significant improvement to the local road network and will also provide for safer and more efficient access for residents and visitors to the Torndirrup Peninsula.”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens and  Premier Roger Cook at the Hanrahan Road Frenchman Bay Road overpass last month.
Camera IconTransport Minister Rita Saffioti, Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens and Premier Roger Cook at the Hanrahan Road Frenchman Bay Road overpass last month. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens said it was brilliant to see the “critical” project reaching its final stages, with the new bridge set to “address one of Albany’s most congested intersections”.

“Over the coming months, final sealing and pavement works will be undertaken with the entire Ring Road on track to open before the middle of the year,” she said.

Once the final section of the ARR is complete, linking South Coast Highway to Hanrahan Road, heavy traffic travelling to and from Albany’s port will not have to travel through existing built-up areas except for near the harbour.

This should also significantly reduce the burden on the Chester Pass roundabout — the riskiest intersection in regional WA, according to the RAC.

State Government funding has also been set aside for a $37 million flyover at the intersection of Menang Drive and Chester Pass Road.

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