Road Photos & Information: Western Australia
||Forrest Highway, Kwinana Freeway & Mitchell Freeway (State Route 2)
- Length: 140 km
- Northern Terminus: Burns Beach Road (SR87) at Currambine
- Southern Terminus: Forrest Highway (former Old Coast Road and Perth-Bunbury Highway) (NR1) at Lake Clifton
- Suburbs, Towns & Localities along route: Lake Clifton, West Coolup, West Pinjarra, South Yunderup, North Yunderup, Nambellup, Karnup, Baldivis, Kwinana, Anketell, Hammond Park, Jandakot, Bateman, Salter Point, Como, South Perth, Perth, Northbridge, Leederville, Glendalough, Osborne Park, Stirling, Gwelup, Hamersley, Duncraig, Kingsley, Woodvale, Heathridge, Joondalup, Connolly and Currambine
- Multiplexed with:
- Road Authority Internal Classfication: H15 Kwinana Freeway and H16 Mitchell Freeway 1
The Forrest Highway, along with the Kwinana and Mitchell Freeways, are without a doubt one of the most important road systems in the Perth metropolitan area, and the southwestern part of the state.
Running in a north-south direction, the freeways link the north and southern suburbs of Perth together plus the southern city of Mandurah and the state's southwest, but also act as a coastal link between the northern and southern parts of the state. Built in stages from the late 1950s the route has seen enormous changes / extensions and is continuously undergoing expansion to this day.
Unique to the freeway sections is the passenger railway line down the median of the road corridor, which in parts also travels alongside other modes of public transport such as buses.
The route varies from 2 to 3 lanes wide in each direction, with provision in most of the newer sections to have another 1 to 2 lanes to be added when required. Exits along the route are somewhat close together, this is probably due to the large number of suburbs state route 2 services, south of Baldivis, the spacings are longer.
When first planned, the Mitchell Fwy was called the Yanchep Highway, as its envisaged that eventually the route will connect to the town.
State Route 2 is joined by National Route 1 at Brentwood from the Leach Hwy (SR7) interchange, forming a duplex through to the Canning Hwy (SR6) interchange at Como.
History (Kwinana Fwy):
- 1899: The first serious proposal to bridge The Narrows was considered in 1899, but the estimated cost of £13 000 pounds caused public outrage and the plan was shelved. 2
- 1901: The Public Works Department prepared a sketch plan for a 900-foot timber bridge with central swing spans to cross The Narrows, but again it did not proceed. 2
- 1954: Main Roads resurrected the concept of a Narrows Bridge due to quickly increasing traffic using the Causeway bridges. 2
- 1956: Cabinet approved a design suitable for The Narrows site and tenders were called for the construction. 2
- 1957: Commencement of construction of the Narrows Bridge and first stage of the Kwinana Fwy. 3
- 1959: Narrows Bridge was officially opened by then Western Australian Governor, Sir Charles Gairdner. Initially, the original six-lane structure was intended to carry about 6,000 vehicles per hour in each direction. Measuring 396.5 m with five spans, the longest span being 98 m, the original Narrows Bridge made history as the largest precast, prestressed concrete bridge in the world. The construction project included 5.4 km of the Kwinana Freeway from the Narrows to Canning Highway, bringing the total cost to £3.5 million. 2
- 1967: Construction of the Kwinana Freeway in inner southern Perth suburbs. 3
- 3 December 1976: South Perth interchange opened. 1
- 1974: More than 77 500 vehicles were using the Narrows Bridge every day. 2
- 1975: Additional land reserved for the future extension of the Kwinana Fwy. 4
- 19 July 1979: Kwinana Freeway / Canning Highway interchange including Manning Road Bridge fully operational. 1
- October 1980: Narrows Bridge median lane opened to Northbound traffic. 1
- 29 March 1982: Narrows Bridge median lane opened to southbound peak traffic, thus becoming a reversible lane. 1
- 9 May 1982: Mt Henry Bridge and Kwinana Freeway extension (6.5 km) from Canning Bridge to South Street opened. 1
- February 1987: Introduction of bus lanes. 3
- 1988: $70million was allocated to duplicate the Narrows Bridge. 2
- 18 December 1989: Kwinana Fwy bus lane Canning Bridge to city opened. 1
- 14 July 1991: Kwinana Freeway from South St to Farrington Rd opened. 1
- 12 December 1991: Kwinana Freeway from Farrington Rd to Forrest Rd opened. 1
- November 1991: Kwinana Freeway bus lane extended from Canning Bridge to Mt Henry Bridge. 1
- 1998: Traffic figures had doubled to more than 155 000, making it the busiest piece of freeway in the nation. 2
- 11 September 1994: Extension of Kwinana Freeway from Forrest Road to Thomas Road Kwinana opened by Kim Beazley. 3
- 1999-2001: Construction of the South West Metropolitan Railway down the centre of the freeway alignment - this was done by relocating 16 kilometres of existing northbound carriageway 15 metres westwards. Also part of the works was the construction of a 12km freeway extension southwards from Thomas Road to Safety Bay Road, including interchanges at Mortimer and Mundijong Road and freeway overpasses at Millar Road. 6
- 25 February 2001: The second bridge opened to traffic and increased the number of traffic lanes from seven to 10 and formed part of a $230 million upgrade of the Kwinana Freeway and its extension to Safety Bay Road. 2
- 12 March 2006: The connection of the Roe Highway Stage 7, from South Street to the Kwinana Freeway, officially opened to traffic. 1
- December 2006: Works commence on the Kwinana Freeway Extension from Safety Bay Road (SR18) Interchange at Baldivis to Pinjarra Road at North Yunderup. 7
- 2007: The Narrows rail bridge was also commissioned as part of the Perth to Mandurah railway service. 2
- 2009: Figures show the Narrows Bridge carries almost 180 000 vehicles every day. 2
- 20 September 2009: Completion of the 70 km Perth to Bunbury Highway project (Kwinana Fwy / Forrest Hwy) - bypassing the heavily populated areas in Mandurah and the Dawesville Peninsula, and avoiding the inland communities on South Western Highway. The route is freeway standard from Safety Bay Road to Pinjarra Road with the remainder of the route built as a divided rural highway. In the future as traffic demands increase, the highway will be upgraded to a freeway standard for its entire length. 1
- 10 August 2011: Major construction work began to add two new lanes to the Kwinana Freeway between the Leach and Roe highways. 8
History (Mitchell Fwy):
- 1967 to 1973: construction of the section between the Narrows Bridge and Sutherland Street West Perth commenced - eventually forming the Narrows Interchange.
- 8 March 1976: Mitchell Freeway extension (1.6 km) from Railway Parade to Vincent Street opened. (Stage 2). 1
- 2 June 1978: Mitchell Freeway extension (4.8 km) from Vincent Street to Hutton Street opened. (Stage 3). 1
- 12 December 1983: Mitchell Freeway extension (3.5 km) from Roberts Street to Karrinyup Road opened. (Stage 4). 1
- 21 September 1984: Mitchell Freeway extension (1.8 km) from Karrinyup Road to Erindale Road opened. 1
- 6 August 1986: Mitchell Freeway extension to Hepburn Avenue opened. 1
- 1987: the freeway extended to Ocean Reef Road Craigie.
- 2 July 1988: Mitchell Freeway to Ocean Reef Road opened. 1
- 1992: the median strip of widened for the Joondalup railway line. Also, Mitchell Fwy widening to McDonald St completed. 1
- 1993: Mitchell Fwy widening to Erindale Rd completed, providing three lanes in each direction. 1
- 2001: freeway extension to Hodges Dr at Joondalup opened.
- 2 November 2008: $171.5 million extension to Burns Beach Road Currambine opened to traffic by State Premier, Colin Barnett. 1
History (Forrest Hwy):
- December 2006: Works commence on the Forrest Highway. 7
- 20 September 2009: Opening of Forrest Highway from Lake Clifton to South Yunderup. 9
1 Main Roads WA
2 DPC Media Statements, Perth’s Narrows Bridge celebrates 50 years, 13 November 2009
3 State Library of Western Australia
4 Australasian Legal Information Institute
5 National Library of Australia
6 Australian Institute of Project Management
7 Southern Gateway Alliance Fact Sheet - Project Facts 01
8 DPC Media Statements, Widening of Kwinana Freeway begins, 10 August 2011
9 Southern Gateway Alliance Media Release - Kwinana Freeway Extension and Forrest Highway Opening Celebration
Last updated: 19-Sep-2016 22:34
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