Bridge plan ‘all about the cars’

Main Roads’ overview of Freo’s new traffic bridge.

PLANS for a new traffic bridge in Fremantle don’t do much but pander to motorists, says mayor Brad Pettitt.

Main Roads released an overview of the project this week as part of a community consultation package which shows a new bridge slightly north of the existing one on the Cantonment Hill side, but pretty much in the same position over in North Fremantle.

“Unfortunately the bridge plans released today appears not to meet the Fremantle council, and I expect community view, that there be at least two distinctly different alignment options presented in full for community and council consideration,” Dr Pettitt said.

“We are disappointed that this has come out with only one alignment option and little opportunity for the community to have input into other alignments that may well have been better.

“We are concerned that the proposed eastern alignment will result in a poor outcome for North Fremantle residents, for those cycling and walking, for heritage and for creating an inviting place for people not just cars.

“We will continue to work with state government to try and improve this project.

“Community and council input greatly improved the High Street upgrade through major redesign and hopefully the same thing can be achieved on this project.”

In its package, Main Roads says there’s not enough room between the existing bridge and Stirling Bridge to allow a third; hence the old bridge will become just a stub on the eastern side.

“There is only 30 metres between the two current bridges on the northern embankment – we need to construct a new rail bridge, a new road bridge and a path for bike riders and pedestrians,” the department’s information said.

Building closer to the port would be too disruptive.

Transport minister Rita Saffioti said technical and operational constraints aside, locals could have a say on the look of the new bridge and its surrounding public areas.

“The new crossing will create new cycling and walking links between Perth and Fremantle for the first time, along with new public space. We look forward to hearing more from the community,” Ms Saffioti said.

By STEVE GRANT

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