19/08/2009 - 15:04

AECOM wins Roe Hwy role

19/08/2009 - 15:04

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The state government has established a project team from Main Roads and environmental and engineering consulting firm AECOM to manage environmental approvals, engineering design and community engagement processes for the contentious Roe Highway extension.

AECOM wins Roe Hwy role

The state government has established a project team from Main Roads and environmental and engineering consulting firm AECOM to manage environmental approvals, engineering design and community engagement processes for the contentious Roe Highway extension.

Transport Minister Simon O'Brien said the South Metro Connect (SMC) project team would be responsible for ensuring strict environmental guidelines and approvals were met.

To date, the Roe Highway extension saga has been littered with controversial planning and environmental issues.

It was originally envisaged that Roe Highway would extend all the way to the contentious Fremantle Eastern Bypass, which was vigorously opposed by Fremantle residents.

There is now little hope of the bypass ever proceeding after the former Labour government sold the land for housing.

However, the SMC could be involved in the debate surrounding the proposed extensions' path through wetlands found near Bibra Lake, which have caught the attention of environmental and resident action groups in the past.

"The work of the South Metro Connect team and the future construction of the Roe Highway extension will result in less freight and passenger vehicles and congestion on the Leach Highway and Kwinana Freeway," Mr O'Brien said in a statement.

"The Roe Highway extension also provides improved access to the Fremantle Inner Harbour and excellent access to the future Outer Harbour, the James Point Facility and the expanding Kwinana Industrial Area."

In March, Mr O'Brien announced a $20million allocation to finalise planning and start construction of the Roe Highway extension from Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road.

But the government has not yet estimated the cost of this construction project.

 

Full anouncement below:

 

South Metro Connect to set new benchmarks in environmental planning, standards, and community engagement.

Transport Minister Simon O'Brien has announced the creation of the South Metro Connect (SMC) project team to manage the environmental approvals, engineering design and community engagement processes for the proposed Roe Highway extension.

Mr O'Brien said the team, to be made up of senior Main Roads officers and personnel from environmental and engineering consulting firm AECOM, would be responsible for ensuring strict environmental guidelines and approvals were met.

"At the last election, communities across the south metropolitan area voiced their support for this project. We are working towards delivering what communities have clearly said they want," he said.

"The formalisation of the South Metro Connect team means that the construction of the Roe Highway extension, from Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road, will meet the highest possible environmental standards.

"The State Government recognises the value of the natural environment in the vicinity of the project. The high level of innovative design solutions and construction techniques to be implemented on this project will set new benchmarks for Main Roads.

"The work of the South Metro Connect team and the future construction of the Roe Highway extension will result in less freight and passenger vehicles and congestion on the Leach Highway and Kwinana Freeway.

"The Roe Highway extension also provides improved access to the Fremantle Inner Harbour and excellent access to the future Outer Harbour, the James Point Facility and the expanding Kwinana Industrial Area."

The Minister said the South Metro Connect team would continue the environmental approvals process for the Roe Highway Extension, already initiated by Main Roads Western Australia which self-referred the project to the Environmental Protection Authority to determine the level of environmental assessment.

"The highest levels of community engagement will be adopted on this sensitive and very important project to ensure sustainable outcomes are achieved," he said.

Community consultation initiatives will include:

- The establishment of SMC community based reference groups to debate issues and assess options

- A toll free number (1800 132 572) through which community members can make enquiries and request additional information on the project

- An online forum and 'project view' resource where members of the community can comment on proposals and look at aerial views of the project

- An array of traditional communications tools such as community newsletters and public meetings

- A 'base line' survey to get an idea of the amount of knowledge about the project within the project site and influence area.

"The SMC team will shortly commence this extensive and meaningful engagement with the community and stakeholders," Mr O'Brien said.

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