Big bridge ideas

EDWARD BOUVERIE has lived in Fremantle since 1987. 

I ATTENDED the special  electors meeting on November 14.

I congratulate mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge for her humour, tolerance and patience in chairing the meeting so efficiently. 

I thank the many electors and others who attended and gave voice to some of the frustrations and concerns we have regarding the plans for a new crossing to replace the Fremantle Traffic Bridge.

I note that the resolutions were passed without dissent. 

The SOS group have done excellent work at keeping the debate open and constructive.

I sense the community is demanding a review of the plans prior to construction starting. 

I do not intend to discuss the issue of whether the current structure is sound or to be condemned. 

I would like to state that in my opinion the current plans lack vision, are destructive and seem to be prioritising the needs of B-double truck access over the ambitions of residents and commuters to and from Fremantle. 

Let me assume for this rant that we require a new road, and possibly rail, crossing west of the current Stirling Bridge. 

Who will it serve? 

Anyone travelling north on Stock Road or Carrington Street will elect to cross Stirling Bridge. 

Anyone travelling west along Canning Hwy will do the same. 

Those coming along Leach Highway will need blinkers and dark glasses to prevent eye damage, but will elect to cross at Stirling.

Any new bridge will be for those travelling to the ‘Bad Lands’ of the north from South Fremantle, Hamilton Hill, Fremantle, Beaconsfield, WGV and Coogee. 

The main access will be along Hampton Road. 

Always assuming they haven’t stopped for a last decent coffee at the West End. 

Has anyone considered traffic rolling down Ord Street, past the Arts Centre, and then crossing Queen Victoria Street (soon to be rebranded I assume) and going straight onto a new bridge from James Street?

This could be a combined road and rail crossing, using the elevation to avoid the need for pylons in the river. 

Yes, it would be a big bridge; but there is precedent for that elsewhere in the world. 

Yes, it would chop into the port and the Qube wharf on the north shore (making 

it a dodecahedron – another rebranding opportunity!). 

Isn’t the port due to move south in the grand plans for the future anyway?

Further, a bridge built well west of the current structures would have the advantage of clear air during construction.

It would preserve and enhance the Beach Street vibe, straighten out the rail line and be altogether rather wonderful. 

The dear old traffic bridge could be preserved for cyclists and pedestrians. 

I agree that the pilot boats would have to move, but they are good at that. They are due an upgrade. 

Walk the ground, look at the problem. 

Be bold. 

We need to find the best solution for Fremantle, and in my opinion, we are still looking. 

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