Eastern Link opens to road users in Busselton

The Eastern Link was officially opened to road users on July 3, 2020 with Forrest MP Nola Marino and City of Busselton deputy mayor Kelly Hick cutting the ribbon at a ceremony to mark the occasion.

The pair were joined by workers from Leeuwin Civil who were contracted to construct the bridge over the Vasse River creating a second entry point into Busselton's town centre.

The bridge was funded through the Australian Government's Bridges Renewal Program which contributed $1.25 million to the project along with a $2.5 million contribution from the City of Busselton.

City of Busselton deputy mayor Kelly Hick said the new bridge, which was yet to be formally named, extended Cammilleri Street to Causeway Road with new roundabouts.

"The project was delivered on budget and on schedule with minimal disruption to the community," she said.

"A huge thank you to our Leeuwin Civil contingent and the many people who were involved in that project.

"The bridge itself was a concrete structure which spanned 22 metres over the Vasse River with an overall length of 32m, and 12.7m wide.

"Clearly, the new bridge is an essential component of the Busselton local road network upgrade works.

"There is no getting over that river without a bridge, we now have another.

"Importantly, all these elements provide a solid foundation for subsequent stages of those works that will significantly improve access to and around Busselton's town centre.

"The new bridge is one of five major projects identified for completion over the next few decades, and the existing bridge at Causeway Road, which has been upgraded many times has served our community for generations.

"Population growth and the explosion of tourism in the area has prompted the need for a second town centre entrance.

"This is what we have achieved here - an additional entry point which will reduce congestion in the town centre - providing quicker access to areas east of Busselton and an alternative entry and exit point for emergency vehicles.

"Our new bridge will also provide tourist traffic with a more direct route to the foreshore and caravan parks, and those other amenities along the foreshore.

"It will also help reduce the bottlenecks which we have seen."

Ms Hick said the city would now progress to its stage two works which includes the dualling of Causeway Road and a new roundabout at Strelly Street.

"In time we will have a third avenue of the iconic poplar trees along Causeway Road denoting the entry into our beautiful city centre," she said.

Forrest MP Nola Marino said the project was part of a $100 billion spend by the Federal Government.

"I am really pleased that through the Bridges Renewal Program that we were able to help," she said.

"This is exactly the type of project that we want to see funded and works on the ground.

"As the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister we have regional development as our passion.

"For those of us who live and work here, we know exactly what that means, what other people take for granted we have to fight for.

"We also need really good people to get the work done.

"I have an absolute commitment for local procurement, and every time I see you local people doing the job and the dollars that the Federal Government spends stay in our South West I am a very happy person.

"Which is why I have been very persistent about seeking as much local procurement for the money I have for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road and also for the Bussell Highway dual carriageway.

"That amounts to $750 million of federal money.

"I am trying everything I can working with people in this room hoping that as many dollars as possible stays here, circulates and helps grow our region."