A BLACK FRIDAY accident by a truck driver has turned into bad luck for everyone, with Main Roads deciding not to replace the pedestrian footbridge he damaged beyond repair.
The truck crashed into the footbridge over Stock Road in Hamilton Hill on Friday December 13, and despite some emergency repairs it’s now been deemed unsafe and is due to be demolished.
But the department isn’t planning on replacing the bridge, which has angered regular users and Cockburn council, which says it’s “totally opposed” to the decision and wants “urgent” talks to try and have it reversed.
Oliver Krumholz uses the bridge nearly every day while cycling to the Murdoch train station on his way to work as a natural resources manager.
“The bridge provides safe passage across a very busy road as there is no other safe crossing option in the vicinity of it,” Mr Krumholz told the Herald.
“I’m quite shocked as this decision leaves pedestrians and cyclists stranded and creates an increased safety risk for them.”
Earlier this week Cockburn met with Main Roads. The council’s engineering and works director Charles Sullivan said they understood the existing bridge was now too unsafe to stay. But they want a replacement and believe alternatives offered up pose an “unacceptable safety risk”.
“The pedestrian bridge serves an important role as part of the local pedestrian network between the suburbs of Hamilton Hill and Coolbellup on either side of busy Stock Road,” Mr Sullivan said.
“A pedestrian crossing on Stock Road at the pedestrian bridge location would pose a safety concern due to the number of lanes pedestrians would need to negotiate on the 80km/h heavy vehicle route.”
Main Roads spokesperson Dean Roberts said initial investigations indicate the driver who hit the bridge did not have the required permit.
The bridge has a height clearance above Stock Road of 5.4 metres. “The impact to the footbridge deck…was significant and caused severe damage,” Mr Roberts said.
“Main Roads is currently planning for the safe removal of the footbridge. Main Roads will then meet with the City of Cockburn to discuss options for ensuring safe access for residents to cross Stock Road.”
In the interim he said pedestrians and cyclists could cross at the Forrest Road intersection.
by STEVE GRANT