Freo responds to its new bridge

Simone McGurk

WE have known for some time that the Fremantle Traffic Bridge needs replacing, and in building a new bridge we have the opportunity to create a unique entry statement for visitors to our beautiful city.

“Getting the design right is vital, and being such a large project with site constraints, this can be challenging, so I thank Fremantle locals for their patience.

“I’m pleased we have landed on a design that I believe addresses both the aesthetic and practical wishes of the community.

“The new design will also improve access for foot and bike traffic, something I know locals are passionate about.”

Lisa O’Malley

The old Fremantle Traffic Bridge is in dire need of replacement, and we’ve engaged extensively with the community to ensure the new bridge delivers on the community’s expectations.

“I know for many boat owners and river users here in Bicton that the scenic Swan River is an important part of life. 

“That’s why I’m glad this design will improve the navigational safety of boat owners and river users in our community, and beyond for years to come.

“I encourage the community to have their say on the new design during the Development Approval process.”

Hannah Fitzhardinge
Mayor of Fremantle

I’M really pleased to see the new design for the Fremantle Traffic Bridge announced by the State Government earlier today.

It’s an innovative and architecturally interesting solution to what is a genuine design challenge – to build a higher bridge, in a very constrained location, while minimising impact during construction.

I’m glad the community feedback on the previous design, as articulated directly to Main Roads via council, has been incorporated into this new design, which has minimal impact on the road network and surrounding green spaces.

Should the project be approved by [the Special Development Assessment Unit], it’s going to be an interesting 12 months while the bridge is closed – so we’ll be working closely with the WA government to come up with plans to manage the impact.

Pippa Hurst
On behalf of Design Freo

I am really happy, I have always believed that is where it should go.

I think there is more room for a conversation around design, but at the moment I think it is time to celebrate a win for the community.

It slots into the existing infrastructure, and retains everything we love about the old Fremantle bridge.

I am really grateful to the community for the advocates and those like the [Save Our Shores] group who did a lot of work like pounding the pavement.

I think we learned that if things are put forward we really need to interrogate them; High Street went under the radar a bit, but in this instance there was a concerted effort.


OUR initial reaction to the new Swan River Crossing bridge solution is that it is a unique proposal that responds well to the significant challenges presented by the site. 

The solution also responds to the requests from the community to preserve the key values of the site, being:

• retention of the limestone ridge and over 100 trees in the foreshore area, and keeping the containbow right where it is;

• using the current alignment as the basis of the design, and retaining existing road connections from, under and around the bridge; 

• eliminating rat runs and traffic chaos as a result of these connections;

• incorporating an appropriate PSP bike path to the west (and a decent footpath also along the east), as well as safe pedestrian pause points along the bridge; and,

• addressing aboriginal heritage concerns in the Derbal Yerrigan

Thanks also go out to our allies in this campaign, the formidable Ian and Margaret Ker from Bridge Integrity Group as well as many other community groups and individuals. 

We thank Main Roads and the state government for listening to the community, and coming up with an excellent solution to a complex project. We are excited to work with the project team to fine tune the design and finishes, and bring this project to successful completion. 

Save Our Shores
Lisa Barnes
Gina Blakemore
Sally Matthews

• Tully Noble Harker with mum Isadora Noble, Richard Evans and John Dowson. Photo by Steve Grant

John Dowson
President, The Fremantle Society

WHAT happened to Main Roads’ promise of keeping at least a significant portion of the existing heritage bridge?

They say they will keep the capstan instead, a meaningless gesture given they have never maintained it.

The say Fremantle will be without a river crossing for only 12 months, but it will be much longer, and a nightmare.

Richard Evans
Save the Fremantle Bridge Alliance

I’M pleased they listened to the community and we stood up the council, otherwise we would have got the Canning Highway deviation and it would have been a dog’s breakfast.

I think there’s still an opportunity to save the bridge because there’s more space in between the two bridges by not having a railway bridge.

So we’re still fighting; we still have a lot of people supporting us and would like to see the old bridge repurposed into a tourist destination and make it a real boon for tourism in Fremantle.

They’ve just put up a render, they haven’t said they’re even the final plans yet, so I think there’s hope for common sense.

Isadora Noble
Save the Fremantle Bridge Alliance

ANOTHER disappointing loss for Western Australians.

We’ve got 10,000 Western Australians saying very resolutely to the government that this site has the highest heritage listing of any infrastructure or building in Western Australia, yet the government wants to knock it over to build a new bridge.

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