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Arup, on behalf of Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA), has been awarded iRAP Certification for achieving 3, 4 and 5-star safety ratings for the proposed design of the Tonkin Highway Extension project in Western Australia.

The design achieved a 5-star iRAP safety rating for pedestrians and bicyclists, a 4-star rating for vehicle occupants and a 3-star rating for motorcyclists.

The results align with global UN Target 3 to ensure all new roads adequately account for road safety by meeting a three-star rating or better by 2030.

The AUD$755 million Tonkin Highway Extension project is jointly funded by the Federal ($604 million) and State ($151 million) Governments. $290 million is also allocated to upgrade Thomas Road (50% contribution each by Federal and State Governments). Both the projects have a total funding commitment of $1.045 billion.

The extension will see the Tonkin Highway, an 81 km north-south highway in Perth, Western Australia, extended 14 km from Thomas Road in Byford to the South Western Highway in Mundijong. The extension will encompass five major intersection upgrades, as well as a separated pedestrian/cyclist path for the full length. Additionally, the upgrade of Thomas Road involves 5 km of carriageway duplication and shared path upgrade works from Kargotich Road to Thomas Road Over Rail project.

iRAP congratulates Arup and Main Roads WA on their safety leadership, striving beyond minimum requirements to ensure the Tonkin Highway Extension design is safe for all road users right from the start, before construction commences.

Dominic Waterhouse, Civil  Engineer from Arup Perth said, “Arup has been using Star Rating for Designs (SR4D) globally to improve the safety of their road designs, through an outcome-led approach.

“On this project, the Star Rating assessment has both verified the safety benefits of the proposed design and allowed recommendations to be made which could further improve safety outcomes for all road user groups through future design development phases,” he said.

The WA Road Safety Action Plan 2021-2023 outlines a coordinated approach to implement key actions from strategy priority areas, with considerable focus directed at protecting road users through better design of roads. Intersections are noted as the most common crash location in urban areas. The Plan also notes that 34% of people killed or seriously injured between 2015 and 2019 were pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable road users.

John Erceg, Managing Director Main Roads WA said, “We are working to ensure that investments in road infrastructure planning, design and construction align with safe system principles, that underpin the Action Plan.

“Working hand-in-hand with Arup, we are proud to achieve iRAP’s Star Rating Certification verifying the safety of the design for the new Tonkin Highway Extension aligned to the global road infrastructure standard of iRAP.”

In addition to iRAP Certification, the project also recently achieved a ‘Bronze’ Rating under the Infrastructure Sustainability Council’s Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Rating Scheme, recognising the joint efforts of Main Roads and Arup to plan for best practice outcomes in sustainability.

As road owners, investors and designers increasingly seek to support the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, iRAP Star Rating Certification formally verifies the safety of a road or design and provides a communications opportunity to celebrate the achievement of a Star Rating target.

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