A consortium of builders has been awarded a contract to deliver the A$215m ($162m) Mitchell Freeway extension in Western Australia (WA).

The contract award comes after the Mitchell Extension Joint Venture (MEJV) was named the preferred proponent for the project this October.

MEJV consists of Australian companies BMD Construction and Georgiou Group.

The freeway extension from Hester Avenue in Clarkson to Romeo Road in Alkimos is expected to improve commuter safety and reduce travel time.

In addition, the project is expected to reduce traffic congestion on the freeway, as well as local road networks within the outer northern suburbs of Yanchep, Butler, Alkimos, Eglinton and Nowergup.

Australia Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said: “This is a congesting-busting project that will take the pressure off local roads by providing a better route from home to work and the shops.

“The Morrison Government is investing millions of dollars into major transport infrastructure projects across WA and that means more jobs for hard-working West Australians.”

The project is being jointly funded by the Australian and State Governments, with each contributing A$107.5m ($81.3m).

Major construction work at the site is expected to begin early next year, with completion planned for late 2022.

During the construction phase, the project is expected to generate 1,200 direct and indirect jobs.

The government said that the work will be fast-tracked to boost the economy post-Covid-19.

Once completed, the Mitchell Freeway project will see an extension of 5.6km.

Specifically, the project scope includes the construction of a new interchange at Lukin Drive, including duplicating the road between Mitchell Freeway and Connolly Drive.

It will also see the creation of a new road connection between Marmion Avenue and Wanneroo Road, with the extension and construction of a dual carriageway on Romeo Road in Alkimos.

Furthermore, Wanneroo Road will be converted into a dual carriageway from Romeo Road to Trian Road.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said: “We have also included a new interchange at Lukin Drive and a new connection from Marmion Avenue to Wanneroo Road, which will make it easier for our northern suburbs commuters.

“Combined with our other northern suburbs projects, including the long-awaited Yanchep Rail Extension, this will support the WA economy through Covid-19 while creating and supporting local jobs.”

Last month, the WA and the Australian Governments agreed to jointly work on the A$100m ($73m) transformation of Thomas Road in Perth’s south-eastern suburbs.