Works to replace the ageing Graham Farmer Freeway tunnel portal cladding will start this weekend, pending weather, and will feature new artwork of the WA football icon.
Completed in 2000, the current external vertical faces of the eastern and western tunnel portals were finished in a light brown cement render which has since deteriorated due to exposure to the weather.
The State Government is now finalising plans to remove and replace the existing external cement render with new, decorative aluminium cladding which can also be used as a medium for public art.
A number of additional design options are being considered, including the installation of lighting which could be synchronised to lighting schemes on the Matagarup Bridge and Gateway WA’s Sky Ribbon.
The cladding will incorporate artistic representations of Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer on the walls, commemorating his football achievements.
Mr Farmer, who is a Member of the Order of the British Empire, is highly regarded as a legend of Australian Rules football and was inducted into the inaugural Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
He is also the patron of the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation – an educational, not-for-profit organisation.
Work to remove the existing cement render on the tunnel portals is set to take place under two full-tunnel closures – one scheduled for June and one in July.
Further information regarding these closures, along with the impact and detour routes, can be found on Main Roads Travel Map at https://travelmap.mainroads.wa.gov.au/Home/Map
The new cladding is expected to be installed by December 2019.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Replacing the cladding is an opportunity to turn general maintenance into an opportunity to create something a bit more vibrant and livelier.
“The new cladding will include Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer as an artistic tribute to the tunnel’s namesake.
“Completion of these upgrades will reduce the ongoing maintenance costs currently associated with the existing walls, whilst also improving the visual amenity of the tunnel for years to come.”