16/07/2021 - 13:00

Forrestfield-Airport track complete

16/07/2021 - 13:00

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The last piece of more than 16 kilometres of track for the $1.86 billion Forrestfield-Airport Link has been laid, another step toward completion of the Metronet project.

 Forrestfield-Airport track complete
Rita Saffioti said the recent completion of track laying was a major milestone for Metronet. Photo: David Henry.

The last piece of more than 16 kilometres of track for the $1.86 billion Forrestfield-Airport Link has been laid, another step toward completion of the Metronet project. 

More than 27,000 sleepers and 2,400 tonnes of Australian-made steel were used in the installation of the 16km track, which extends from Bayswater Junction to High Wycombe Station.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the completed track laying was a major milestone for Metronet. 

The project was launched by the Barnett government and later became part of the McGowan government’s flagship Metronet program.

Once complete, the Forrestfield-Airport Link will enable residents to travel to Redcliffe, Perth Airport and Bayswater directly. 

Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said the Metronet project overall would also provide an important transport link for commuters in eastern Perth and help ease congestion across the city. 

“The Forrestfield-Airport Link project is one of many critical infrastructure projects to receive funding from the Morrison government as part of its record $110 billion, 10-year investment pipeline, which is helping to drive Australia’s world-leading economic recovery," he said. 

The link was due to be completed in late 2020, however, significant delays in construction (including a sinkhole in 2018) brought progress to a halt.

The new line between Perth Airport and Forrestfield is now due to be operational in the first half of 2022.

Another project challenge has emerged in court, with the project's head contractors Webuild (formerly Salini Impregilo) and NRW Holdings in the process of suing engineering consultancy GHD over claims it was negligent in failing to prepare an adequate design concept. 

The installation of the overhead conductor rail (OCR) and overhead line equipment (OLE), which will carry the 25 kilovolts needed to power the trains, is still under way.

Work is also continuing on installing the OCR infrastructure in the two tunnels.

All surface OLE structures are now in place at Bayswater Junction and are well advanced at High Wycombe.

The state government said the completed 1,200-bay carpark at High Wycombe would improve station access for passengers and free up eight hectares of land for future development.

The station itself is nearing completion, with finishing touches under way including landscaping, installation of seating, bike racks and signage, as well as roadworks within the station precinct.

Public art installations are also progressing, which includes a 40-metre mural by Perth artist Fieldey and a series of sculptural artworks and storyboards by Noongar artist Maitland Hill.

Ms Saffioti said all three new stations - High Wycombe, Airport Central and Redcliffe - were on the home stretch of construction, expected to open in the first half of 2022, when the line becomes operational.

There are a further eight Metronet projects under construction, with the Bellevue Railcar Facility also recently completed. 

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