A revised plan for the $230 million Swan River Crossings project will see the 83-year-old Fremantle Traffic Bridge replaced with a new rail bridge and road bridge.
The original proposal included a plan for the new bridges to be constructed to the east of the Fremantle Traffic Bridge, but pushback from the community prompted construction to be moved between the existing rail bridge and existing Fremantle Traffic Bridge.
Extensive consultation with the community took place through pop-up sessions, webinars and an interactive online portal, with more than 1,000 people participating and having their say on the four bridge alignment options.
WA Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti, said she was pleased to be able to deliver on the community’s preferred option.
“Community consultation on this project will continue as we work through the final design and development stage before commencing construction,” Ms Saffioti said.
“This is a significant project that has been on the agenda for decades, as there are ongoing significant maintenance costs with the existing bridge and a need to replace the current bridge with a new structure.”
The Swan River Crossings Project will replace the current Fremantle Traffic Bridge and increase passenger and freight rail capacity, improve safety for road and river users, and provide modern cycling and pedestrian facilities.
Key features of the preferred alignment include:
- Two new bridges to be built between the existing rail bridge and existing Fremantle Traffic Bridge
- Transport infrastructure to be closer together, maximising space for landscape and design on the southern bank
- New pedestrian and cyclist facilities
- Possible retention of a remnant portion of the existing Fremantle Traffic Bridge, with the remainder of the bridge to be demolished
- Relocation or reinterpretation of the heritage listed Ferry Capstan base
The preferred alignment will now be progressed through to development and design, while the next phase of community consultation will include a series of forums and discussions on priorities relating to heritage interpretation and connectivity for pedestrian and cycling paths.
The project is jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments with each contributing $115 million.
WA Premier, Mark McGowan, said that early works on the project are expected to commence later in 2021, with major construction kicking off in early 2022. Mr McGowan added that the project will support more than 1,400 local jobs.
Federal Member for Swan, Steve Irons, said, “This project will not only help to improve congestion in the region but it will create local jobs and is a great example of the importance of listening to the community and addressing its needs.”
Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said that the project was one of 177 planned individual packages of works nationwide under the Urban Congestion Fund.
“This is just the latest example of us delivering on our commitment to progress critical infrastructure projects across the country under our record $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure investment pipeline, which is helping to drive Australia’s world-leading economic recovery,” Mr Fletcher said.