A bridge too far?

Checking through our archives we came across this 2003 plan for a new bridge … just sayin’.

MAIN ROADS appears to have poured cold water on suggestions it might retain Fremantle’s old traffic bridge as a pedestrian crossing.

The bridge’s replacement has been brought forward as a Covid-stimulus project, but the department has released little information about what’s proposed.

When the Chook asked for the latest update, strategy and communications director Dean Roberts said the state government had already spoken with stakeholders and was organising a community consultation.

But he did also provide this little snippet which suggests pedestrian access across the river will be focussed on the new structure.

“In addition to replacing the current, ageing traffic bridge, the project will also include a new passenger rail bridge and a new path for people walking and riding from North Fremantle station, over Tydeman Road to the new bridge and across the Swan River to Beach Street,” Mr Roberts said. 

DesignFreo is a newly created, not-for-profit organisation which has chosen the fate of the old bridge and design of the new as the topic for its first public forum.

DesignFreo chair and creative director Pippa Hurst said they aimed to hold regular talks, exhibitions and hands-on workshops to create opportunities for design professionals to share what they do, and why it matters, with the general public. 

“We believe that by building a sense of pride in the quality of design in our city we can contribute to a better future for the town we call home,” she said. 

With little information currently in the public realm, Ms Hurst says DesignFreo hasn’t developed a stance on the bridge project.

“Our intent is to have a respectful conversation that brings multiple perspectives and voices to the table,” Ms Hurst said. 

Such voices will include community development experts, urban designers and researchers as well as local MLA Simone McGurk.

“We are advocating for a quality co-design outcome that serves the needs of our present and future community,” Ms Hurst said.

The DesignFreo conversation will take place at Tannock Hall, Cliff Street, Fremantle at 6.30pm on Thursday 30 July. Tickets are $5 through Eventbrite. 

By KRISTEN RICCIARDI

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