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Gateway WA

Perth Airport & Freight Access



The Gateway WA Perth Airport and Freight Access Project is the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by Main Roads WA.

This billion-dollar project involves a major upgrade to the road network surrounding Perth Airport and the freight and industrial hubs of Kewdale and Forrestfield.

It focuses primarily on Tonkin Highway, between Great Eastern Highway and Roe Highway, and Leach Highway, between Orrong Road and Perth Airport.

The need for this project has been driven by the expected doubling of passenger air travel and the road freight task over the next decade, coupled with proposed consolidation of the Perth airport terminals.

The Gateway WA Project Map (1 page PDF 3.8 MB) is available to download.

This area of Perth is arguably Western Australia’s most important transport interchange, where road, rail and air services meet to facilitate the movement of people and goods that are essential to the economy of both the state and the nation.

The entire Gateway WA upgrade is expected to be completed by 2017, ahead of the planned consolidation of the domestic and international terminals at the Perth Airport. The construction methodology and program for delivery of the project are still currently being finalised, however, some early works packages began on-site in February 2013 in preparation of the main construction effort which is scheduled to commence in mid 2013.

vision of the flyover for the Gateway WA Project Master Plan (WMV 18 MB) is available to view.

Visit the Gateway WA website for further information.


Current Status

The project has been separated into three construction zones - north, south and west. Each zone has a dedicated Project Manager, design and construction team.

The first area of major activity is the construction of a new on-ramp from Abernethy Road to Tonkin Highway (southbound only). Work to protect and/or relocate the Canning Trunk Main and the Dampier Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline started in January 2013. Roadworks in this area started in March 2013. 

The Alliance is also currently undertaking a number of on-site investigations to obtain more information about the project area such as ground conditions, the number and location of existing underground service utilities, and pre-construction noise monitoring.

Construction of the Gateway WA project office on the corner of Abernethy Road and Tonkin Highway is also underway.

Nominations for the Gateway WA Community Liaison Group (CLG) have been advertised, with the first meeting expected in April 2013. Member of the community interesting in being involved are encouraged to contact the Gateway WA team . The CLG will provide an interactive forum to share information and consider community issues relating to the design and construction of the Gateway WA project. 

The March 2013 Gateway WA Project Newsletter was recently distributed to local residents, businesses and property owners in the vicinity of the project.


Future Work

The Alliance will stage the program to manage the work on-site in such a manner as to minimise the disruption to local businesses, residents, road users and the freight industry as much as possible. Wherever possible, priority will be given to preserving travel times, maintaining access to driveways and public transport, and ensuring the safe passage of pedestrians and cyclists.

Work on the main alignment will initially start with the interchanges at Leach Highway and Abernethy Road; and at Leach Highway, Horrie Miller Drive and Kewdale Road from mid 2013. This work will be complemented by a number of modifications to the local network through Kewdale including improvements to a number of key intersections on Kewdale Road and construction of the Bell Street Extension (which will connect Bell Street to Orrong Road at a new signalisation intersection near Ballantyne Road).

Work to construct the new interchange at Tonkin Highway and Leach Highway is expected to start towards the end of 2013, with work at the Tonkin Highway and Boud Avenue and Tonkin Highway and Roe Highway programmed to start at the end of 2014.

The new connections will be progressively opened to traffic wherever possible to provide immediate and significant relief to regional commuters, the freight industry and the local community.


Stakeholder and Community Consultation

Stakeholder and community consultation is a key component of the project and will involve a broad range of engagement activities, including:

  • Formation of a Community Liaison Group
  • Public displays
  • Meetings with local residents and businesses
  • Project newsletters regularly distributed to local households and businesses
  • Newspaper advertising and advertorials
  • Regular meetings of technical advisory groups, addressing specific issues such as freight, environmental impacts, drainage and urban design.

Gateway WA will build on its engagement and seek further stakeholder and community input on issues such as construction methodology and staging, traffic management, access during construction, urban design and landscaping.



The project is being jointly funded with the Federal Government contributing up to $686.4 million as part of the Regional Infrastructure Fund and Nation Building Program. The State Government is contributing $317.5 million.      


Project Overview

The scope of the Gateway WA project is outlined in a Project Master Plan (114 page PDF 31 MB), which is the result of a two-year planning study undertaken by Gateway Vision (a joint venture between consultants GHD and BG&E) on behalf of Main Roads WA. This study involved significant community and stakeholder consultation.

Construction is scheduled to commence in 2013, with project completion expected by 2017 prior to consolidation of the domestic and international airport terminals.

The project includes:

  • A major freeway-to-freeway interchange at Tonkin Highway-Leach Highway, including a new primary access road to the consolidated airport terminal;
  • A new interchange at Tonkin Highway-Horrie Miller Drive-Kewdale Road;
  • A new interchange at Leach Highway-Abernethy Road;
  • Upgrading Leach Highway between Orrong Road and Tonkin Highway to an expressway standard and associated upgrades to local roads and intersections in the Kewdale area;
  • A principal shared path along Tonkin Highway and Leach Highway;
  • Upgrading of the existing Tonkin Highway-Roe Highway interchange to a partial freeway to freeway interchange;
  • Upgrading Tonkin Highway between Great Eastern Highway and Roe Highway to six lanes; and
  • A new interchange at Boud Avenue (subject to further funding negotiations).

Given the size, scale and complexity of the project, work is likely to be progressively undertaken in packages to minimise disruption to road users, residents and industry.

The Gateway WA Project Map (1 page PDF 3.8 MB) is available to download.


Project objectives

The Gateway WA Project is a national infrastructure priority driven by the expected doubling of the freight task and passenger air travel between now and 2031. Infrastructure Australia identifies the Gateway WA project as a nationally significant project under its Competitive International Gateways goal to improve Australia's trade performance.

The Gateway WA project will achieve the following two primary objectives:

  • Improve and secure access to Perth Airport to complement the airport redevelopment and, in doing so, provide sufficient capacity to handle the expected growth in transport demand; and
  • Improve the operational efficiency of freight vehicles including those servicing the national significant intermodal freight terminals at Kewdale and Forrestfield.

Other key objectives include:

  • Provide a "Gateway" access to the proposed new Perth Airport and to the state of Western Australia that will leave a favourable impression for road users through and efficient, legible and pleasing road journey;
  • Improve safety in keeping with the State Government's "Toward Zero" road safety initiative;
  • Improve the efficiency of the road network with grade-separation and extra lanes - resulting in reduced congestion, travel times, freight costs, fuel consumption and emissions;
  • Minimise adverse impacts to the environment, road and path users, local businesses and residents;
  • Respect the significance of the natural environment and Aboriginal Heritage; and
  • Provide the foundation for enhancing public transport services to the airport and freight precinct.


The Planning Process

Planning for the Gateway WA Perth Airport and Freight Access Project commenced in mid-2010, when Main Roads awarded Gateway Vision a contract to undertake a comprehensive planning study.

As a result of this study, a visionary Ultimate Concept Plan (1 page PDF 669 KB) was developed that identifies the long term road layout required to meet the transport needs of the year 2031 and beyond.

This Plan has been tested to ensure that it can meet the needs of a future Perth population of 3.5 million.

The Project Master Plan details the more immediate road upgrades required to support the steady growth of the Perth Airport and Kewdale freight precincts. It outlines the proposed scope of the project.

As far as practicable, the reservation proposed for the project minimises impacts to environmentally significant areas and private property. However, in some areas it will be necessary to amend the Metropolitan Regional Scheme and acquire privately-owned land.


Background documents


Contact us

For all further enquiries, please contact the Gateway Team: 

Phone: 1800 420 421
Modifed: 27 Mar 2013