The first component of the METRONET Byford Rail Extension is now officially underway as works start on the required level crossing removal at Thomas Road in Byford.
The new road bridge over Thomas Road – to support the Byford Rail Extension project – is one of several projects fast tracked by the McGowan Government to boost local jobs and the economy through COVID-19.
The Thomas Road over rail bridge will include two lanes in each direction and will facilitate the extension of the Armadale Line by around 8km down to Byford. It is the first of a number of level crossings required to be removed and marks the ninth METRONET project currently under construction across Perth.
In another major announcement, the McGowan Government is also investigating expanding the Byford Rail Extension project scope to include a modern elevated rail component.
The City of Armadale recently wrote to the State Government, abandoning their tunnel proposal through Armadale and requesting elevated rail be considered.
The City of Armadale request, together with a similar request from the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, means we now have a joint way forward.
The inclusion of elevated rail would enable the removal of additional level crossings at Armadale Road and Abernethy Road, improving connectivity and opening up new town centre activation opportunities.
It would also minimise commuter disruption by not having to come back at a later stage to remove these crossings, helping to maximise value for taxpayers by incorporating these works into the Byford Rail Extension project.
Once contractors for the Byford Rail Extension are shortlisted in early 2021, they will progress options for elevated rail solutions for the Government to consider at:
- Armadale City Centre: Armadale Road, Forrest Road and Church Avenue (with the potential to add or relocate road crossings along this section of railway)
- Byford Town Centre: South of Larsen Road to Abernethy Road (with the potential to add or relocate road crossings along this section of railway).
This is on top of investigating options for the Seventh Road pedestrian crossing, which is examining a pedestrian overpass to maintain safe walking and cycling connections in the area, as well as examining options to reconfigure the level crossing at Byron Road and Eleventh Avenue.
The Thomas Road over Rail project also includes modifications to local roads to improve safety, with Butcher Road connected to Vlasich Road via a new underpass, a shared path on the bridge for cyclists and pedestrians, noise walls, and landscaping and re-vegetation to minimise visual impacts.
The $52 million Thomas Road over Rail project is expected to be completed towards the end of 2022.
The final shape of the Byford Rail Extension project including the level crossing removals in the town centre will depend on final consultation, cost and funding available.
The project is jointly funded between the Federal and State Governments, with the main contract to be awarded in 2021.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“My Government is getting on with the job of delivering METRONET with now nine projects under construction this year alone, creating thousands of local jobs and creating opportunities for local businesses.
“We promised to build a rail line to Byford, and we’re getting it done – delivering a significant boost to infrastructure in this fast-growing community.
“METRONET is supporting the Western Australian economy through COVID-19, and big builds like these, as part of the Building for Tomorrow program, create lasting infrastructure and spur on further developments in our growing communities and town centres.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“METRONET is a once in a lifetime investment – we need to make sure we are planning for the now as well as building the infrastructure for the future.
“When complete the METRONET Byford Rail Extension, combined with the Tonkin Highway Extension, will change the way people travel throughout our south eastern suburbs.
“Byford’s population is set to boom over the coming decade and it’s important we examine what infrastructure we can put in place now to serve us in the future.
“When the main construction contract is awarded next year the contractor will be asked to provide priced options for elevated rail through the Byford and Armadale town centres.
“This is forward planning for the future and I look forward to seeing this project continue to develop.”