Works to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion at the Leach Highway and Welshpool Road interchange in Western Australia have begun.

The junction is considered to be one of Perth’s most dangerous, with 224 crashes recorded between 2015 and 2019.

The A$136m ($105m) project will be completed by the Leach Welshpool Alliance, a consortium of local contractors.

Contractors in the consortium include Georgiou Group, BG&E and Golder Associates.

The project will involve building a grade-separated junction with Leach Highway bridging over Welshpool Road, as well as an at-grade roundabout at the junction of Leach Highway and Welshpool Road, and an upgrade of the Leach Highway Bridge over railway lines south of the interchange.

Western Australia Transport Minister Rita Saffioti: “The Leach Highway and Welshpool Road interchange is a well-known pinch point for commuters.

“These upgrades will improve safety, ease congestion and encourage better flow of traffic, as well as saving commuters travel time during peak hour.

“Combined with our level crossing removals along the Armadale Line, this will completely transform this transport corridor.”

During the construction phase, the project is expected to create 600 jobs.

Upon completion, the project is expected to improve traffic flow, reduce travel times and ease pressure on the local road network.

The project is jointly funded by the federal and Western Australian governments, with each promising funding of A$68m ($25.7m).

Australia Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher said: “This project will provide Perth drivers with a safer and more efficient east-west freight connection, particularly between Fremantle and the industrial areas of Kewdale and Welshpool.

“Around 50,000 vehicles pass through this junction every weekday, with the area servicing key commercial activities in local industrial areas, Perth Airport, Kewdale Freight Terminal and the surrounding residential areas.

“This project is one of many critical infrastructure projects to receive funding from the Morrison Government as part of its record A$110bn ($85bn), ten-year infrastructure investment pipeline.”

Last month, the Western Australian government started A$448m ($347m) upgrade works on the Mitchell Freeway.

The works cover three projects intended to reduce traffic congestion and transform travel between Perth’s northern suburbs.

All three projects are being jointly funded by the federal and Western Australian governments and are expected to be completed by 2023.