Ring road plans driven forward

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser

After 22 years of planning and plenty of robust debate, tender submissions have finally been opened for the design and construction of stages two and three of the Albany Ring Road.

A new 11.5km stretch of road will link Albany Highway and Princess Royal Drive, with construction expected to start late next year.

The $175 million project will include grade separations on Albany Highway, South Coast Highway and Frenchman Bay Road.

Picture: Mainroads
Camera IconPicture: Mainroads

Construction is expected to start late next year, subject to environmental and heritage approvals.

State Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Federal MP for O’Connor Rick Wilson have traded barbs over ring road funding this year.

In March, Ms Saffioti accused Mr Wilson of failing to get the attention of his Federal colleagues to fund the project, saying the full-back for Albany football club had kicked more goals for the city than him. In reply, Mr Wilson said Ms Saffioti was “becoming a laughing stock in Canberra” because of her incompetence.

But on Tuesday, the politicians presented a united front for the long-awaited announcement.

“In addition to creating local jobs, this project is an investment in the road safety of the region.”

Ms Saffioti hailed the employment and business opportunities the project would present for the Great Southern.

“As with all transport infrastructure projects, we will also be actively seeking opportunities for both Aboriginal employment and engagement of Aboriginal businesses,” she said.

Albany MP Peter Watson said the ring road would help secure the future of the Albany port.

The Federal Government has contributed $140 million to the Albany Ring Road, while the State Government has put forward the remaining $35 million.

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