Leach Highway

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Leach Highway

Leach Highway, Myaree, Western Australia, April 2006.JPG
Leach Highway in Melville
Leach Highway
General information
Type Highway
Length23 km (14 mi)
Route number(s)
Major junctions
East end Airport Drive, Perth Airport
West endAustralian state route 7.svg High Street (State Route 7), Palmyra
Major suburbs Welshpool, Wilson, Rossmoyne, Winthrop , Melville
Highway system

Leach Highway is a 23-kilometre (14 mi) east-west arterial highway in the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, primarily linking Kewdale and Perth Airport with the city of Fremantle.


It is allocated State Route 7 and is a dual carriageway for its entire length. Leach Highway varies in width between four and six lanes, with speed limits of 70 and 80 km/h (43 and 50 mph).

Route description

Leach Highway is one of the state's most important heavy vehicle routes. It links the major industrial areas of Kewdale and Welshpool with Western Australia's major container port at Fremantle. [1]

Although the Leach Highway's western terminus is at Carrington Street in Palmyra, [2] High Street continues for a further 1.5 km (0.9 mi) into Fremantle, and connects it to the Stirling Highway.


Leach Highway is named for J.D."Digby" Leach, former Commissioner of Main Roads Western Australia. Construction began in 1966, with the first section opened between its present western terminus at Carrington Street, Melville (now Palmyra), and High Road in Canning (now Willetton) in 1972. [3]

It was soon extended eastward from High Road through to Manning Road, utilising the old timber Riverton Bridge over the Canning River via Barbican Street East and what is now Fern Road and Grayson Court. [4] In 1976 it was further extended from Manning Road to Orrong Road, including bridges over Albany Highway in Bentley and the Armadale railway line in Welshpool. Then in 1978 the 4-lane concrete Shelley Bridge over Canning River opened, with Riverton Bridge retained for local traffic. [3] [4]

In the early 1980s the highway was extended further eastward, first to Hardey Road and, soon thereafter, to the new Beechboro-Gosnells Highway (now called Tonkin Highway) which remains as the highway's present eastern terminus.

Also around that time a number of intersections were built to coincide with new roads being built around Leach Highway. A parclo interchange was constructed at the newly extended Kwinana Freeway, and an intersection was constructed for the new Centenary Avenue in Wilson to improve access to the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT), now called Curtin University. New at-grade intersections were built at Murdoch Drive and Winthrop Drive to service the new suburbs of Bateman and Winthrop.

Although not strictly Leach Highway, in 1985 Stirling Highway was extended southwards from its then terminus at Canning Highway to a new terminus at High Street (an extension of Leach Highway). This marked the final piece of an improved freight link between the Port of Fremantle and Perth's major industrial areas around Kewdale.

Apart from minor modifications, the Leach Highway remained largely unchanged until 2005/2006 when work on projects at Kwinana Freeway and Orrong Road commenced.

Orrong Road interchange

In November 2005, the state government announced plans for the construction of a $21 million diamond interchange at the intersection of Leach Highway and Orrong Road in Welshpool. Orrong Road, which is a continuation of Graham Farmer Freeway has experienced an increase in traffic by approximately 40% since the freeway was completed in 2000. The new bridge brought Leach Highway over Orrong Road, allowing, at the time, free-flowing traffic from Welshpool Road to Abernethy Road. The intersection was formerly Perth's worst blackspot. Approximately 70,000 vehicles, including substantial numbers of trucks, use the intersection daily. Funding for the project was made available through the sale of land reserved for the Fremantle Eastern Bypass. The interchange was completed in July 2007. [5]

Bull Creek railway station

Bull Creek railway station was built at the interchange of Leach Highway and Kwinana Freeway for the new Perth-Mandurah railway. A new bridge was built immediately south of the present highway bridge to cater for bus access to the railway station. Alterations to the Kwinana Freeway on and off ramps to Leach Highway have also been undertaken, entailing modifications to the layout of the parclo interchange.

Gateway WA

As part of the Gateway WA project, which commenced in 2013 and was completed in March 2016, Leach Highway was upgraded [6] to a controlled access four lane expressway from Orrong Road into Perth Airport Terminals 1 and 2, through Airport Drive. This involved Perth's first full freeway to freeway interchange with Tonkin Highway and a compact diamond interchange with Abernethy Road. Airport Drive will also provide a major link to the planned consolidated Perth Airport complex. [6] The ultimate design plan makes provision for this road to be upgraded to four lanes before 2031.

Future upgrades

High Street upgrade

The section of High Street between Carrington Street and Stirling Highway is due for upgrade. [2] Upon completion, this section is to be known as Leach Highway, [2] extending Leach Highway to Stirling Highway. The T junction at Stirling Highway is part of the main freight access for vehicles accessing the Port of Fremantle, and is a very busy intersection for trucks.

Welshpool Road interchange

In February 2018, then Federal Opposition transport and infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese pledged to upgrade the Leach Highway and Welshpool Road to a grade-separated interchange if Labor won the upcoming Federal election. “What we are committed to today is to fund half of this upgrade to Leach Highway and Welshpool Road,” he said. [7] The intersection is considered to be one of Perth's most congested, with a high number of crashes occurring. [8] The cost of the upgrade was at the time estimated to cost $93 million, with the Federal Labor Party thereby prepared to commit $46.5 million to the potential project. [9]

Major interchanges and exits

As Leach Highway is not limited access, a large number of the roads that Leach Highway are connected to are not controlled. Major intersections are at-grade and controlled. Exceptions are the Albany Highway, Orrong Road and Abernethy Road, which are grade separated in favour of Leach Highway. The first two are diamond interchanges, while the latter is a single-point urban interchange (SPUI). Although also grade-separated, the Centenary Avenue interchange is controlled by traffic lights on the westbound side of the highway.

Belmont Perth Airport, Cloverdale, Kewdale tripoint 0.000.00Australian state route 4.svgWestern Australia MR-SM-11.svg Tonkin Highway (State Route 4)   Morley, Ellenbrook, Armadale , Perth Airport terminals T3/T4Grand Gateway interchange; modified combination interchange; northbound-to-westbound controlled by traffic lights at the Leach Highway/Abernethy Road interchange due to close distance to Abernethy Road interchange. Leach Highway eastbound terminus, continues as Airport Drive northeastbound to Perth Airport terminals T1/T2
Cloverdale, Kewdale boundary1.400.87Australian state route 55.svg Abernethy Road (State Route 55),   Belmont, Hazelmere Single-point urban interchange, also handles Tonkin northbound to Leach westbound traffic prior to merging to avoid the need for weaving.
Belmont-Canning boundary Kewdale, Welshpool boundary3.32.1Australian state route 8.svg Orrong Road (State Route 8),   Perth, Burswood, Kalamunda Signalised diamond interchange.
Canning Welshpool 4.42.7 Welshpool Road,   East Victoria Park, East Cannington Currently an at-grade intersection with traffic lights; interchange construction to start in early 2021 with completion date in late 2022.
Bentley 6.13.8Australian state route 30.svg Albany Highway (State Route 30),   Perth, Victoria Park, Cannington, Albany Signalised diamond interchange.
Bentley, Wilson boundary6.74.2Australian state route 26.svg Manning Road (State Route 26),   Manning, Waterford, Cannington
Wilson 7.84.8Bungaree Road
8.65.3Centenary Avenue - Curtin University Modified parclo interchange, Leach eastbound free flowing while Leach westbound has a signalised intersection with the Centenary Avenue onramp. All three other ramps are uncontrolled, meeting to the north at a signalised intersection with a bus lane priority arrangement in place.
Canning River 8.8–
Shelley Bridge
Canning Shelley 10.16.3Barbican Street West west / Vahland Avenue south - Willetton, Leeming
Riverton, Shelley, Willetton tripoint11.77.3Australian state route 27.svg High Road (State Route 27) - Parkwood, Lynwood
Rossmoyne, Willetton boundary12.47.7Western Australia MR-SM-11.svg Karel Avenue - Bull Creek, Leeming , Jandakot Airport
Canning-Melville boundary Rossmoyne, Bull Creek boundary13.08.1Webb Street
Melville Brentwood, Bull Creek boundary13.88.6Bull Creek Drive
Brentwood– Bateman Bull Creek tripoint 14.1–
Australian national route 1.svgAustralian state route 2.svg Kwinana Freeway (National Route 1 northbound only/ State Route 2)  Perth, Joondalup, Rockingham National Route 1 eastern concurrency terminus; modified Parclo interchange with Leach westbound to Kwinana northbound and Leach eastbound to Kwinana southbound looped: access to Bull Creek railway station
Brentwood–Bateman boundary15.09.3Moolyeen Road - Mount Pleasant, Applecross
Bateman Booragoon- Winthrop tripoint15.39.5Murdoch Drive - Murdoch , Murdoch University
Booragoon- Winthrop boundary16.09.9Riseley Street - Ardross
17.010.6Winthrop Drive - Kardinya
Myaree- Winthrop boundary17.310.7Norma RoadNo right turn from Norma Road to Leach Highway westbound
Myaree - Winthrop - Willagee tripoint17.911.1North Lake Road - Alfred Cove, Kardinya, Cockburn Central
Melville - Palmyra - Willagee boundary20.012.4Australian national route 1.svg Stock Road (National Route 1) - Attadale, O'Connor, Rockingham National Route 1 western concurrency terminus
Melville-Fremantle boundary Palmyra -Fremantle boundary21.413.3Carrington Street - Bicton, White Gum Valley, Hamilton Hill Leach Highway westbound terminus, continues as Australian state route 7.svg High Street (State Route 7) to Fremantle

See also

Related Research Articles

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Graham Farmer Freeway Freeway in Perth, Western Australia

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Roe Highway Highway in Perth, Western Australia

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Tonkin Highway Highway in Perth, Western Australia

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Canning Highway Highway in Perth, Western Australia

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Welshpool Road

Welshpool Road is a major arterial road running through the metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australia. Although the road is now split in two, having had its western and eastern sections disconnected due to the extension of Roe Highway, it remains Welshpool's second most important road, and the highest quality access road for the Darling Scarp.

Transport in Perth, Western Australia, is served by various means, among them an extensive highway / freeway network and a substantial system of commuter rail lines and bus routes. Public transport is managed by the Transperth agency.

Armadale Road is a major road in the south and south east of the Perth Metropolitan Area. It serves three purposes: firstly, providing a main route from Armadale to Fremantle; secondly, connecting Armadale to the Kwinana Freeway; and thirdly, since 2005, connecting it to the Tonkin Highway which ferries traffic to the eastern suburbs, Perth Airport and the Forrestfield and Kewdale industrial areas.

Mounts Bay Road Road in Perth, Western Australia

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Abernethy Road is a 14.7-kilometre (9.1 mi) long minor arterial road linking Belmont with the Great Eastern Highway Bypass in Hazelmere, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia.

Gateway WA

Gateway WA, formally called the Gateway WA Perth Airport and Freight Access Project, was a $1 billion project that upgraded the road network around Perth Airport.

The Perth Freight Link was a proposed $1.9 billion project in Perth, Western Australia to improve the road freight link between Kewdale and Fremantle Harbour. The project was announced by the state government in May 2014, but was cancelled following a change of government at the March 2017 state election.

The Fremantle Eastern Bypass was a proposed bypass of Fremantle, Western Australia, which would have linked Stirling Highway with Roe Highway. A highway link from Roe Highway to Fremantle Port was proposed in the Metropolitan Region Scheme since the 1950s. A reservation for the bypass was included in the scheme in 1973. It was deleted at the request of the state government's Minister for Planning in 1992, reinstated in 1994 following a change of government, and once more deleted in 2004 after another change of government in 2001.

Kwinana freight railway

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Orrong Road is a major arterial road servicing the metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australia as well as the south-eastern continuation of the Graham Farmer Freeway. It is a dual carriageway for its entire length, with multiple sets of traffic lights.


  1. "High Street Upgrading Study" (PDF). Estill and Associates. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 "Fact Sheet: Leach Highway Fremantle Upgrade Project" (PDF). Main Roads Western Australia . Government of Western Australia. September 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  3. 1 2 Leach Highway - A Success Story Australian Transport September 1978 page 30
  4. 1 2 Lester Durbin (October 2004), "History of Riverton Bridge" (PDF), Wilson Residents & Ratepayers' Association Newsletter, Wilson Residents & Ratepayers' Association, p. 3, retrieved 13 September 2014
  5. Wyatt, Ben. "Ben Wyatt's Newsletter 2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 December 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  6. 1 2 "Gateway WA - Project Master Plan" (PDF). Gateway Vision. April 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  7. Corlett, Aaron (23 February 2018). "Anthony Albanese pledges $46.5m for Leach Highway-Welshpool Road overpass if Labor elected". Canning Times. Community News. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  8. "Leach Highway & Welshpool Road Intersection Upgrade".
  9. "Leach Highway (Welshpool Road) Interchange" (PDF). Australian Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 December 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.

Further reading

Route map:

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