The Eastern Link development was given the green light by the City of Busselton council last week with work expected to commence if the environmental status is approved.
The Eastern Link is one of five initiatives the city hope to achieve to improve traffic flow into Busselton’s town centre at a cost of $4.15 million.
The road will connect Causeway Road and Peel Terrace via a bridge across the Vasse River to help reduce traffic congestion in the town centre.
The infrastructure requires the removal of seven mature peppermint trees, which form part of a larger canopy of trees that are home to the critically endangered western ringtail possum.
The roadworks agreed to by council also include a roundabout at Albert and Queen Street and road upgrades at Albert and West Street upgrade and Strelly and Causeway Road.
City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said they were aiming to put the project out for tender before Christmas but it could take another three months before the environmental approval status was known.
Mr Henley said the construction time frame was dependent on securing environmental approval and if approved the city would progress with the Eastern Link as the first priority.
”We are looking at an approximate five year program to complete these works,” he said.
Mr Henley said the feedback received along with detailed traffic modelling and an independent review of that modelling helped inform council in their decision making process.
“We are now also progressing works to address specific areas of community concern – like for example, the intersection at Albert Street and Queen Street,” he said.
““The city thanks those people who provided feedback during community consultation.”
The Eastern Link has been met by opposition from sections of the community, with South West MLC Steve Thomas saying on radio that he did not believe the Eastern Link was a good option for the community.
He said the environmental approval process could of had a different outcome if enough effort was put in.
In August, an appeal lodged under the Environmental Protection Act against the Eastern Link development was dismissed by the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.
He was confident this would be done through the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s assessment of a clearing permit for the proposal.
Mr Dawson said in his review that the impacts to the western ringtail possum were required approval under the federal government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
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