Forrest Highway is a 95-kilometre-long (59 mi) highway in Western Australia's Peel and South West regions, extending Perth's Kwinana Freeway from east of Mandurah down to Bunbury. Old Coast Road was the original Mandurah–Bunbury route, dating back to the 1840s. Part of that road, and the Australind Bypass around Australind and Eaton, were subsumed by Forrest Highway. The highway begins at Kwinana Freeway's southern terminus in Ravenswood, continues around the Peel Inlet to Lake Clifton, and heads south to finish at Bunbury's Eelup Roundabout. There are a number of at-grade intersections with minor roads in the shires of Murray, Waroona, and Harvey including Greenlands Road and Old Bunbury Road, both of which connect to South Western Highway near Pinjarra.
The settlement of Australind by the Western Australian Land Company in 1840–41 prompted the first real need for a good quality road to Perth. A coastal Australind–Mandurah route was completed by 2 November 1842. Though the road was rebuilt by convicts in the 1850s, its importance was already declining. With a new road via Pinjarra at the foothills of the Darling Scarp completed in 1876, and the opening of the Perth−Bunbury railway in 1893, few people travelled up the old coastal road. In the late 1930s there was a proposal to re-establish the road as a tourist route, which could also reduce traffic on the main road along the foothills, but it was put on hold due to World War II. Improvements to Old Coast Road started in the early 1950s, but with little progress made until 1954 when the Main Roads Department approved £1000 worth of works. The name "Old Coast Road" was formally adopted on 27 January 1959, and a sealed road was completed in September 1969.
Since the 1980s, the state government has been upgrading the main Perth to Bunbury route, by extending Kwinana Freeway south from Perth, and constructing a dual carriageway on Old Coast Road north of Bunbury, including bypasses around Australind and Dawesville. A bypass was also planned around Mandurah, which underwent detailed environmental reviews and assessments in the 1990s and early 2000s. Construction of the New Perth Bunbury Highway project, which became Forrest Highway and the final Kwinana Freeway extension, began in December 2006, and the new highway was opened on 20 September 2009. Within one year of opening, the number of road accidents in the area had decreased significantly, but tourism and businesses in the towns on bypassed routes were also affected. There are few services alongside the highway, although as of June 2015 a pair of roadhouses are planned near Greenlands Road. In June 2014, Forrest Highway was extended south to Bunbury by renaming much of Old Coast Road as well as Australind Bypass as part of the highway.
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