The Western Australian government hopes to foster the growth of the eastern suburbs of Perth with $3 billion in infrastructure spending.

A pair of construction mega-projects both worth in excess of AU$1 billion will bring about a dramatic upgrade of transportation infrastructure in the eastern part of Perth.

The $2 billion Forrestfield Airport Link will see the construction of an underground tunnel between Bayswater and Forrestfield which will significantly improve traffic to and from Western Australia’s chief air traffic hub, while $1 billion Gateway WA project will create a vital transportation conduit between Perth’s eastern suburbs and other key parts of the city.

The Forrestfield Airport Link will consist of an eight-kilometre long tunnel situated at an average depth of 15 metres beneath the earth’s surface. The link itself will contain twin bored tunnels, each measuring 6.2 metres  in diameter.

Dean Nalder

Dean Nalder

Western Australian Transport Minister Dean Nalder expects the tunnels to significantly reduce above-ground airport-related traffic, as well as its impact on adjacent homes and businesses, thus facilitating further growth in Perth’s eastern suburbs.

“Tunnels save space and reduce the impact on existing residential and business areas,” said Nalder. “In the same way the Mandurah and Joondalup lines have underpinned urban developments along the south and north of perth, the Forrestfield Airport Link will drive growth and open new opportunities to the east.”

In addition to improving traffic flows, the link will add an estimated 20,000 boardings to the Transperth network by 2021.

A Design and Build tender for the project is set to go to market next year, with construction scheduled to commence in 2016 and finish in 2020.

The $1 billion Gateway WA project, which commenced work in the middle of last year and is slated to concluded in 2017, will see the addition of 45 kilometres of new roads to Perth’s transport system, including the construction of 11 new bridges.

The project will serve to better integrate the eastern suburbs with the rest of Perth’s economy, putting it within easy reach of the CBD, the city’s industrial zones, as well as Fremantle Ports.

Nalder said the recent setting of bridge beams at the intersection of Tonkin Highway and Leach Highway marked a major milestone in the development of the project, as they will serve as the basis for four bridges at the new interchange connecting the airport.

“This grade separated interchange will become the grand gateway to the city of Perth,” he said.

According to Nalder, the $3 billion in spending on the two projects will have a transformative impact upon the eastern part of Perth.

“Combined with the Gateway WA project, these two major infrastructure builds will revolutionise the way we think about the city’s eastern suburbs,” he said.

The Gateway WA project has already brought nearly $400 million in business to local companies, including 305 contractors and 264 suppliers of services with local content.