Roe Highway

Roe Highway is a 35-kilometre-long (22 mi) limited-access highway and partial freeway in Perth, Western Australia, linking Kewdale with the city's north-eastern and south-western suburbs. The northern terminus is at Reid Highway and Great Northern Highway in Middle Swan, and the southern terminus is with Murdoch Drive at the Kwinana Freeway interchange in Bibra Lake. Roe Highway, in addition to Reid Highway, form State Route 3, a partial ring road around the outer suburbs of the Perth metropolitan area. Roe Highway also forms part of National Highway 94 from Great Eastern Highway Bypass to Great Eastern Highway, and National Highway 95 from Great Eastern Highway to Great Northern Highway.

Roe Highway

Map of Perth's central suburbs with Roe Highway highlighted in red
General information
Length35 km (22 mi)
Route number(s)
Major junctions
Northeast end Reid Highway (State Route 3), Middle Swan
Southwest endMurdoch Drive, Bibra Lake
Major suburbsMidvale, Hazelmere, Forrestfield, Kewdale, Welshpool, Canning Vale, Leeming, Jandakot
Highway system
Roe Highway at the Nicholson Road exit

Although planning for Roe Highway's route began in the 1950s, construction on the highway's first segment only began in 1981, which was opened in 1983, concurrent with the construction of Tonkin Highway and development of the Kewdale industrial area. The highway remains a key heavy vehicle route in the Perth metropolitan area. In the 1980s and 1990s, most of the highway's interchanges with other roads were constructed as at-grade intersections with traffic lights, as were Perth's other arterial highways also constructed during that time. From 2002 to 2006, the 20-kilometre-long (12 mi) section of the highway from Tonkin Highway to Kwinana Freeway was constructed as a continuous freeway, with grade-separated interchanges and free traffic flow, and since 2012 several remaining at-grade intersections of the rest of the highway have been grade-separated. Six at-grade traffic-light controlled intersections remain on the highway today.

Planning provisions have proposed for Roe Highway to be extended from its current south-western terminus in Bibra Lake towards Fremantle since the 1950s. These plans have been controversial amongst conservationist and community groups due to the highway's proposed route through the environmentally sensitive Beeliar Wetlands. The Western Australian state government commenced construction on the first stage of an extension of Roe Highway from Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road (known as Roe Highway Stage 8) in December 2016; construction of the extension was suspended in March 2017 following a change of government in the 2017 state election. The new government has since reconfigured the extension to curve northwards to link with Murdoch Drive instead. Construction on this project commenced in 2018 and completed in April 2020.

Route descriptionEdit

Driving from Roe Highway northbound, along a looped interchange ramp, to Great Eastern Highway eastbound

Most junctions on the highway are variants of grade separated diamond interchanges south-west of Tonkin Highway, and at-grade traffic light controlled intersections to the north-east of Tonkin Highway. The exceptions are at:

  • Great Eastern Highway, a modified diamond interchange with a northbound to eastbound loop ramp;
  • Clayton Street and Maida Vale Road, which are grade separated, but with only northbound exit and southbound entry ramps.
  • Berkshire Road, a dogbone interchange configured as a “tennis ball” interchange, with traffic cutting through the roundabouts rather than circulating around them.
  • Tonkin Highway, the southern half is a diamond-style interchange though with Roe-eastbound to Tonkin-northbound free-flowing while the northern half forms part of a cloverstack-style interchange though with Roe-eastbound to Tonkin-southbound controlled with lights.
  • The terminus at Kwinana Freeway/Murdoch Drive, initially built in 2006 as a trumpet interchange with Kwinana Freeway, was converted to a partial but free-flowing cloverstack interchange in 2020 when Murdoch Drive was extended southwards to connect with both roads. Roe-westbound to Kwinana-northbound and Murdoch-eastbound to Kwinana-southbound ramps are looped. All movements to and from Roe Highway are available, whereas Kwinana-southbound to Murdoch-westbound and Murdoch-eastbound to Kwinana-northbound movements are unavailable.

Aside from the at-grade intersections, the speed limit is 100 km/h (62 mph) for most of its length.


Roe Highway was first proposed in 1955 by Gordon Stephenson as part of what was to become the Metropolitan Region Planning Scheme. The highway was intended to form the southern and eastern sections of a ring route around the Perth metropolitan area.[1] It is named in honour of John Septimus Roe, who arrived in Western Australia in 1829 and served at the first state Surveyor General of Western Australia for 41 years.[2]

Work began in 1981, with the first section between the Beechboro-Gosnells Highway and Bushmead Road opening in 1983. The next section, from Bushmead Road to Great Eastern Highway was opened in 1984. The third stage, linking Great Eastern Highway and Great Northern Highway opened on 14 December 1988, at the same time as the Great Eastern Highway Bypass opened. The state Minister for Transport, Bob Pearce was assisted in the opening ceremony by Jason and Rachael Roe, two of the sixth generation of the Roe family to live in Australia and descendants of John Septimus Roe.[2] The new roads provided a limited access dual carriageway bypass of the historical Guildford and Midland districts that was much needed at the time.

In 1994, the highway was extended 2 km (1.2 mi) further southwards from Tonkin Highway to Welshpool Road. Following seven years in hiatus, work recommenced, and in 2001 a new 4 km (2 mi) southwestern extension known as stage 4 was completed from Welshpool Road to the purpose-built Kenwick Link (an Albany Highway bypass built in 1998) – most of which replaced the overtaxed William Street in Beckenham. Work on the 3-kilometre-long (1.9 mi) stage 5 was undertaken simultaneously with stage 4, bringing the highway to Nicholson Road in 2002.

Stage 6, a 5 km (3 mi) extension from Nicholson Road to South Street was completed in 2004, with stage 7 being announced shortly afterwards. The 4.5 km (3 mi) stage 7 extension from South Street to Kwinana Freeway was completed in March 2006, at a cost of A$75m, and represents the highway's current southwestern terminus.[3]

The 19 km (12 mi) of road built since 1994 between Tonkin Highway and Kwinana Freeway, is to a freeway standard. It may in the future be upgraded to a freeway classification.

In June 2012, the new grade-separated interchange opened at the Great Eastern Highway intersection, allowing free-flowing traffic on Roe Highway over Great Eastern Highway. The design includes a northbound to eastbound loop ramp to cater for heavy vehicles, and three pedestrian underpasses.[4]

Proposal to extend Roe to FremantleEdit

Roe Highway was first proposed in 1955 by Gordon Stephenson as part of what was to become the Metropolitan Region Planning Scheme. The highway was intended to form the southern and eastern sections of a ring route around the Perth metropolitan area.[1] In the 1950s, Stephenson planned for Roe Highway to continue westwards towards Fremantle, through South Fremantle along Marine Terrace and then north to connect with Stirling Highway and the Port of Fremantle. As part of the plan, in 1974 Stirling Highway was extended from its then terminus north of the Swan River southwards to Canning Highway. Over a period of approximately 20 years, Main Roads Western Australia procured land, and in 1985, Stirling Highway was extended southwards from Canning Highway to High Street (the western continuation of Leach Highway). The remaining 3 km (1.9 mi) strip of land south of High Street then became known as the Fremantle Eastern Bypass.

At the southern end of the proposed Fremantle Eastern Bypass, an 8 km (5 mi) east-west road reservation was proclaimed, and became known as Roe Highway stage 8 (or Roe 8). With a change of state governments in 2001, the planned Fremantle Eastern Bypass / Roe Highway stage 8 was cancelled, with a commitment by the government to sell the land reserved for the Fremantle Eastern Bypass. As part of the funding arrangement for Roe Highway stages 6 and 7, the federal government stipulated that the Roe Highway stage 8 reservation was to be retained.

Following a change in state governments in September 2008, planning work has now commenced on an extension of Roe Highway from Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road.[5] Parliamentary debate[6] was continuing in 2012 as the state government continued its intention to implement the plan.

Protesters against the Roe 8

The plan was ultimately formalised as The Perth Freight Link in May 2014, a $1.6 billion project to improve the road freight link between Kewdale and Fremantle Harbour. In addition to the 5 km (3.1 mi) extension of Roe Highway, upgrades were also planned for Stock Road, Leach Highway, and High Street to provide a grade-separated route, bypassing fourteen sets of traffic signals.[7] The links plan includes mandatory GPS tracking of all vehicles over an as yet undisclosed size or weight with a charge per kilometre being applied for vehicles travelling in the area between Muchea and North Fremantle.[8] The extension will take the highway from its current terminus at Kwinana Freeway approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) further west to Stock Road, near Forrest Road in Coolbellup. The proposed route is along or within the vicinity of an existing road reserve in the Perth Metropolitan Region Scheme.[9]

In September 2015 the group Save the Beeliar Wetlands took legal action against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), arguing that the EPA did not follow its own policies.[10] Preliminary works began on the project during November 2015, which drew protests with many people being given move-on orders preventing them from being in the area. On 16 December 2015 the Supreme Court handed down its findings: that because the EPA did not follow its published policies as it was legally obliged to, the approval of Roe 8 and the subsequent approval given by the environment minister Albert Jacobs were invalid.[10]

Noongar custodian Corina Abraham, on behalf of the local Whadjuk Noongar people filed writs against members of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs cultural committee and the current WA Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Peter Collier in the WA Supreme Court on 30 March 2016. The writs allege that they did not receive procedural fairness as both Abraham and her now deceased father were part of the group consulted in the original group consulted in the report which the committee later overturned to enable the project's approval. Abraham's lawyer Greg McIntyre QC (who had also been Eddie Mabo's lawyer) also sought an injunction to prevent the minister making any decisions based on the new recommendation until the matter is heard by the court.[11]

2017 State election and the Murdoch Drive ConnectionEdit

After the 2017 state election, the incoming McGowan Government stated it intended to scrap the entire project.[12][13] On 12 March, Main Roads and the contractors agreed to suspend work on the project.[14][15].

In early 2018 plans were revealed to extend Roe Highway to curve northwards to meet Murdoch Drive instead, with modifications made to the existing Kwinana Freeway interchange, converting it from a trumpet to a modified cloverstack interchange though with no access from Kwinana Freeway south to Murdoch Drive west nor Murdoch Drive east to Kwinana Freeway north due to the nearby Farrington Road interchange providing the same required movements to enter/exit the freeway. A modified half diamond interchange between Murdoch Drive and Farrington Road/Bibra Drive was also constructed to provide an upgraded southern access to the Murdoch activity centre.[16] The project was completed on 20 April 2020.[17]

Gateway WAEdit

Gateway WA was a $1 billion project that upgraded the road network around Perth Airport. It was, at the time, the largest project Main Roads Western Australia had ever undertaken, covering the upgrade of Tonkin, Leach, and Roe Highways, and the construction of four new interchanges. The project was jointly funded by state and federal governments, which provided $317.5 million and $686.4 million respectively.[18]

As part of the project, Roe Highway's interchange with Tonkin Highway was upgraded, noise walls were erected along Roe Highway in High Wycombe, and a new interchange between Roe Highway and Berkshire Road was constructed.[18] The project was completed in April 2016.[19]


Karel Avenue Interchange UpgradeEdit

Work commenced in July 2019 to widen Karel Avenue to four lanes between Farrington Road and Berrigan Drive, including duplication of the bridge crossing the Roe Highway. Despite the interchange itself only opening in 2006, the $15 million dollar upgrade was required due to the development of the Jandakot City project to the south of the interchange along with the construction of the Thornlie-Cockburn Link. This is due for completion in late 2020.[20]

Kalamunda Road InterchangeEdit

The $86 million dollar project to convert the intersection of Roe Highway and Kalamunda Road to a dogbone interchange started in September 2019 as part of the progressive removal of at-grade signalised intersections along Roe Highway. This is due for completion in late 2021.[21] A staged extension of the Princpal Shared Path (PSP) is also being built between the existing Berkshire and future Kalamunda Road interchanges. The Berkshire-Maida Vale Road section is expected to be completed by early 2020[needs update], with the Maida Vale-Kalamunda section expected to open in tandem with the interchange itself.[22]

Great Eastern Highway Bypass InterchangeEdit

Planning and development of an interchange between Roe Highway and the Great Eastern Highway Bypass is also underway as part of a wider upgrade of infrastructure in the Hazelmere industrial area. Once completed there will be just two sets of traffic lights intersections south of the Great Eastern Highway.[23]

Interchanges and intersectionsEdit

SwanMiddle Swan00.0    Great Northern Highway (National Highway 95 north / National Route 1 / Tourist Drive 203) – Midland, Moora, Geraldton, MeekatharraHighway terminus: continues west as Reid Highway (State Route 3). National Highway 95 concurrency terminus: continues north. Traffic light controlled intersection
Middle Swan, Stratton1.40.87   Toodyay Road (State Route 50) – Midland, Toodyay, Swan District HospitalTraffic light controlled intersection
Swan, MundaringMidvale3.42.1Morrison Road – Midland, Swan ViewTraffic light controlled intersection
4.32.7   Great Eastern Highway (National Highway 94 east / State Route 51 west) – Midland, Northam, KalgoorlieModified diamond interchange with northbound to eastbound loop ramp. National Highway 95 terminus. National Highway 94 concurrency terminus: continues east.
SwanBellevue5.13.2Clayton Street – Bellevue, MidlandNorthbound exit and southbound entry only
Hazelmere7.14.4   Great Eastern Highway BypassPerth City, Perth AirportNational Highway 94 concurrency terminus: continues west; Traffic light controlled T junction
KalamundaHigh Wycombe, Maida Vale9.96.2  Kalamunda Road (State Route 41) – High Wycombe, KalamundaTraffic light controlled intersection
11.27.0Maida Vale Road – High Wycombe, Maida ValeNorthbound exit and southbound entry only
Berkshire Road – ForrestfieldDiamond interchange
Kewdale, Forrestfield, Wattle Grove16.0–
   Tonkin Highway (State Route 4) – Armadale, Kewdale, Joondalup, Perth AirportModified hybrid diamond interchange (partial freeway-to-freeway interchange): Tonkin Highway free-flowing, southbound exit to Roe Highway westbound free-flowing
Kewdale16.810.4Chisholm Crescent – KewdaleClosed in January 2016, previously a LILO T junction (north-eastbound access only)[24]
GosnellsEast Cannington, Welshpool18.111.2  Orrong Road north-westbound (State Route 8) / Welshpool Road East south-eastbound (State Route 8) – Lesmurdie, Welshpool, Perth City
Beckenham22.313.9  Kenwick Link (State Route 30) – Armadale, Cannington, Perth City
Beckenham, Kenwick, Langford, Thornlie22.9–
Djarlgarra Bridge (over Canning River)
Gosnells, CanningLynwood, Langford, Thornlie, Canning Vale25.615.9  Nicholson Road (State Route 31) – Cannington, Canning Vale
CanningLynwood, Willetton28.217.5Willeri Drive – Canning Vale, Riverton
Leeming30.218.8  South Street (State Route 13) – Armadale, Bull Creek, Canning Vale
CockburnJandakot33.320.7  Karel Avenue – Leeming, Jandakot, Jandakot AirportDogbone interchange
Bibra Lake, Jandakot, North Lake34.2–
  Kwinana Freeway (State Route 2) – Mandurah, Fremantle, Perth CityHighway terminus: continues west as Murdoch Drive. Partial cloverstack interchange, Roe-West to Kwinana-North and Murdoch-East to Kwinana-South ramps looped. No connection available for Kwinana-South to Murdoch-West nor Murdoch east to Kwinana-North.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b New Roe Highway link to open (April 1998). Western Roads: official journal of Main Roads Western Australia, 21(1), p.4. Perth: Main Roads Western Australia.
  2. ^ a b History and a highway (March 1989). Western Roads: official journal of the Main Roads Department, Western Australia, 14(1), p.5. Perth: Main Roads Department.
  3. ^ Main Roads, Western Australia, Annual Report 2006. Perth: Main Roads, Western Australia, 2006, p. 51-52
  4. ^ "Roe/Great Eastern interchange improves safety, traffic flow and transport efficiency". Ministerial Media Statements. Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 March 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^$FILE/C38%20S1%2020120502%20p2027b-2042a.pdf
  7. ^ Main Roads Western Australia (5 January 2015). "Perth Freight Link". Government of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 31 March 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  8. ^ Parker, Gareth (17 December 2014). "Truck toll to pay for Roe Highway extension". The West Australian. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  9. ^ Main Roads Western Australia (17 December 2014). "Roe Highway Extension – Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road". Government of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  10. ^ a b Young, Emma (16 December 2016). "Supreme Court rules EPA approval of Roe 8 'invalid'". WA Today. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  11. ^ Grant, Steve (1 April 2016). "ROE 8 The fight of my life". Fremantle Herald. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  12. ^ Labor vows to scrap Perth Freight-Link if it wins election The Guardian 4 January 2017
  13. ^ WA Labor vows to axe Perth Freight Link The West Australian 4 January 2017
  14. ^ "Perth Freight Link: Main Roads WA agrees to suspend Roe 8 project". PerthNow. Seven West Media. AAP. 13 March 2017. Archived from the original on 13 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017. Additional archives: 14 March 2017.
  15. ^ Davey, Melissa (13 March 2017). "Mark McGowan stops Perth Freight Link in first move as WA premier". The Guardian. Australian Associated Press. Archived from the original on 13 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017. Additional archives: 14 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Murdoch Drive Connection". Main Roads WA. Archived from the original on 12 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  17. ^ Saffioti, Rita. "Joint media statement - Murdoch Drive Connection opens to traffic". Government of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 20 April 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Gateway WA". Main Roads Western Australia. 27 March 2013. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  19. ^ Main Roads Western Australia (13 April 2016). "Gateway WA Project Complete". Government of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016. Additional archives: 14 April 2016.
  20. ^ "Karel Avenue Upgrade". Main Roads WA. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Roe Highway and Kalamunda Road Interchange". Main Roads WA. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  22. ^ "Roe Highway and Kalamunda Road Interchange (PSP extension)" (PDF). Main Roads WA. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Great Eastern Highway Bypass Interchanges". Main Roads WA. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  24. ^ "Permanent Closure: Roe Highway / Chisholm Crescent Intersection, Kewdale" (PDF). Traffic Notice. Gateway WA. 4 December 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016. Additional archives: 19 January 2016.


Route map:

KML is from Wikidata