The Perth City Link Project is a major infrastructure project underway in Perth, Western Australia. The project will regenerate and improve the transportation network of the central business district (CBD) of Perth, linking it to the Northbridge district, a project that has been discussed and envisaged for more than 100 years.
It is a joint effort by the East Perth Redevelopment Authority (EPRA) and the Public Transport Authority (PTA) of Western Australia. Estimated at a cost of $610m, the project is jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government, the state and the city of Perth.
The CBD region is divided by the Fremantle rail line that opened in 1881.The Perth City Link Project aims to reunite the area by linking the Fremantle rail line with the Wellington Street bus station in the Northbridge district.
The project will create 14ha of space for the development of public and commercial establishments and 1,650 new apartments in the Northbridge entertainment precinct. It is also intended to boost social and economic activity in the region while attracting $3bn of private investments into the local economy.
Perth City Link Project
The project was originally known as ‘HUB’ and was first conceived by the PTA. It included Perth City Link rail and bus projects. In March 2010, HUB was merged with EPRA’s railway land development plan called “The Link Project” to form the “Perth City Link Project”.
The Link Project involved development of the railway land surrounded by the Mitchell Freeway, Roe Street and the Horseshoe Bridge, which belonged to PTA.
The project planning commenced in June 2009 and was completed in March 2010. It involves a rail and a bus component. The rail component is estimated to cost $360m and has received a federal fund of $236m. It involves lowering the Fremantle rail line level between William Street and Lake Street / King Street to align with the new underground Wellington Street bus station in Northbridge arena. It also includes reconfiguring the Perth railway station platforms and providing surface connections between the Perth surface and underground stations.
The bus project involves construction of the underground Wellington Street bus station to create extra space for urban development.
The project will be constructed in stages. The preparatory rail works commenced in 2010 to give way for the actual construction of the Fremantle line in late 2011 and complete in 2014. The line will be constructed completely inside the tunnel between William Street and Lake Street.
The main platform 5 of Perth station will be realigned to conform to the new underground track alignment. In addition, a new designated platform 10 and an adjacent track will also be built for this purpose.
Platforms 6 and 8 located between the western concourses of the station will be demolished. The existing footbridge between platforms 5 and 7 and the Horseshoe Bridge will be replaced with a new pedestrian underpass that will connect all the platforms with Perth underground station.
The foundations of the Horseshoe Bridge will be strengthened to allow track realignment.
The existing pedestrian concourse at the intersections of William Street, Roe Street and Wellington Street will be demolished.
The Perth Entertainment Centre which has been vacant since 2002 occupies an integral part of the project land. It will be demolished and replaced by terrace gardens, landscapes and bicycle paths, and private and commercial establishments. Demolition works are expected to start in early 2011 and be completed by 2012 before the opening of the Perth Arena.
Construction of the underground Wellington bus station will be commenced immediately after the completion of the rail project and will be completed by the end of 2016.
The Perth City Link master plan was prepared between 2003 and 2008 by a Taylor Burrell Barnettin team, which included Jones Coulter Young (architecture and urban design), Plan E (landscape architecture), Aecom (environmental consulting and civil and transport engineering), Urbanizma (urban design), Colliers and Taktics 4 (commercial consulting).
A geographic and technical study of the underground tunnel was provided by Geotechnical Engineering Services.
The demolition work on the Perth Entertainment Centre was awarded to Seven Group Holdings by the Western Australia Government.
John Holland and Gutteridge Haskins & Davey Group were chosen as a preferred alliance partner for track realignment and construction of the Perth station. The company was shortlisted in September 2010 and was appointed as a preferred group in March 2011.