Design and construction proposals are now open for submission for a $93 million interchange upgrade that was fast-tracked due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Leach Highway and Welshpool Road Interchange project is one of one of 24 Western Australian transport projects being expedited to support the WA economy and local jobs on the road out of COVID-19.

The upgrade, jointly funded with the Federal and Western Australian Governments each committing $46.5 million, is scheduled to commence construction in late 2020.

The project aims to improve critical connections to one of Perth’s major industrial areas and bust congestion across the freight network by improving safety and efficiency for commuters, heavy vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

A new road bridge will carry Leach Highway over Welshpool Road and an additional road bridge on Leach Highway over the Armadale railway line, Railway Parade and Sevenoaks Street.

There will also be a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians along Leach Highway from Sevenoaks Street to Orrong Road, including over the Armadale railway line.

Safety is a major factor in the area. The Leach Highway/Welshpool Road intersection is currently ranked as the second worst intersection across Western Australia for crash frequency and cost. In the five years from 2014 to 2019, 224 crashes have been reported.

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said these numbers had to be brought down.

“We are investing in critical infrastructure in WA to lay the foundations for economic recovery on the other side of COVID-19 and this project is part of that,” Mr Tudge said.

Western Australian Minister for Transport and Planning, Rita Saffioti, said up to 50,000 vehicles travel through this intersection daily, making it one of Perth’s most congested and dangerous.

“These upgrades will not only create a safer, more efficient intersection but will create and support local jobs,” Ms Saffioti said.

“This is just one of 24 major transport infrastructure projects we are fast-tracking the procurement for to deliver jobs and continue economic development in our suburbs.”

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