West Coast Highway Planning Proposal

Main Roads WA has prepared a concept design to sink West Coast Highway in an open, three lane road trench extending 2 kilometres from West Coast Terrace to Ventnor Street. The plan, if progressed, will significantly change traffic and pedestrian conditions in the area and your feedback is valuable to help ensure Scarborough remains a premium beachside destination. Closing date: 25 February 2022 Follow project

Main Roads WA has released a ‘fly through’ of its concept design for West Coast Highway in Scarborough and is seeking feedback through a community survey. The concept includes:

  • Sinking West Coast Highway in an open 3 lane road trench extending 2 kms from West Coast Terrace to Ventnor Street
  • A reversible central lane to cater for peak traffic flows
  • Surface roads for local traffic parallel with the trench
  • Bridge connections at Brighton Road, Scarborough Beach Road and Manning Street to provide east-west vehicle and pedestrian access
  • An additional right turn vehicle access, over the trench, into the White Sands site
  • Additional mid-block pedestrian crossings.

The road trench concept is primarily intended to cater for Main Roads WA’s projected growth in through traffic from the current 35,000 vehicles per day to an estimated 50,000 vehicles per day by 2041.

At its meeting on 14 September 2021 Council acknowledged the need for an agreed transport and access solution for Scarborough and provided conditional support for a plan to widen West Coast Highway subject to Main Roads WA undertaking an urban design study and community engagement on transport and access options. The minutes from the Council meeting can be accessed here.

The City encourages you to view the Main Roads WA ‘fly through’ and share your thoughts on the road trench concept with Main Roads WA via its feedback survey which can be accessed using the below link.

Your feedback will help inform the future planning of West Coast Highway in Scarborough. 


What is the purpose of the Main Roads WA survey?

The survey provides an opportunity for the community to comment on the Main Roads WA concept design for West Coast Highway and the access and urban design outcomes for Scarborough.

Who controls West Coast Highway?

West Coast Highway is a Main Roads WA controlled road, which is reserved by the State Government under the Metropolitan Region Scheme as a Primary Regional Road.

Who is responsible for planning and development in Scarborough?

The State Government, through DevelopmentWA, is currently responsible for management of development within the Scarborough Redevelopment Area.

Is planning approval required for construction of the Main Road WA?

As the works are located within the Scarborough Redevelopment Area, Main Roads WA will require development approval from DevelopmentWA.

However, planning authority for the area is anticipated to be returned to the City by the end of 2022 after which Main Roads WA can undertake works within Main Roads WA roads, such as West Coast Highway, without planning approval.   

Why is a tunnel option not being proposed?

Main Roads WA has advised that construction of a tunnel would not be feasible due to additional land requirements, restrictions on access along West Coast Highway during construction and high project costs which it considers would not be warranted based on projected traffic.  

How would the 3 lowered lanes operate?

Main Roads WA has advised that the central lane would be reversible to cater for peak traffic flow direction. 

How will pedestrians and cyclists access Scarborough beach?

Traffic bridges over the lowered road of the intersection of Brighton Road, Scarborough Beach Road and Manning Street will include footpaths to accommodate east-west pedestrian movement.

Smaller dedicated pedestrian crossing points are also proposed mid-block between Scarborough Beach Road and Manning Street and between Scarborough Beach Road and Brighton Road.

How much of the road trench will be able to be crossed?

The Main Roads WA concept includes crossing points for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists that collectively account for approximately 120-130 metres (<5%) of the 2 km sunken road structure.   

Large section of the sunken road structure (>95%) will not be accessible for east-west movement.

Can surface cover over the road trench be increased?

Yes. The concept as presented incorporates bridges of approximately 30 metres in width, however Main Roads WA has advised that the lowered road can be covered in sections of up to 80m in length each with sufficient openings between covered sections to address safety, ventilation and emergency / maintenance access requirements.

What landscaping is proposed?

Main Roads WA proposes to install trees within the West Coast Highway verge, subject to sufficient verge width to ensure trees to be adequately setback from the surface road carriageway. 

Additional landscaping could be provided within any areas of extended cover over the sunken road.

How will local vehicle movement and access to Scarborough Beach be accommodated?

The concept includes north bound and south bound surface roads that run parallel to the trench. Vehicles can access Scarborough Beach from the bridge crossing points or travel along the surface road to access adjacent properties and bridge crossings/intersections.

When will construction commences?

The concept is currently unfunded and has no construction timeframe.

For more information, visit the MRWA website, www.mainroads.wa.gov.au, or email enquiries@mainroads.wa.gov.au.

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