PRELIMINARY works will start this summer on a $50 million upgrade for key roads in the state's Northern Midlands, to reduce travel times and boost safety.
Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding told The Examiner yesterday detailed planning was under way for the duplication of a stretch of the Midland Highway between Breadalbane and Perth.
Mr Hidding said preliminary works would begin later this year, ready for construction to start late next year.
The creation of a four-lane section of highway will include a safety barrier separating the two directions of travel.
The funding will come from the $500 million Midland Highway 10-year action plan, funded by the federal government and topped up by the state.
"The majority of the Midland Highway funding over the next five years will be spent in the North," Mr Hidding said.
"It will improve safety and efficiency, and for places like Longford and Cressy, which are commuter centres . . . it will make a very efficient route into the city."
Stage two is the creation of a new road linking Longford's Illawarra Road and the Perth bridge, diverting trucks from driving through the centre of the Perth village.
The new road could be completed in five years' time, Mr Hidding said.