Community input crucial to design of new Fremantle Traffic Bridge
Fremantle Council is urging the state government to ensure the local community is properly consulted on the design of the replacement Fremantle Traffic Bridge.
The state and federal governments committed matching funding to the $230 million project last year, while earlier this year the new bridge was included on a list of projects to be fast tracked as part of the state government’s COVID-19 economic recovery measures.
Mayor Brad Pettitt said the new bridge provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver an iconic infrastructure project in Fremantle.
“The City of Fremantle has been advocating for the replacement of the Fremantle Traffic Bridge for many years, so we welcome the investment by the state and federal governments in this much needed new infrastructure,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“The traffic bridge is a critical gateway into Fremantle so we want to ensure that the design of the new bridge is befitting of its prominent location and that the overall project helps to improve the connectivity between North Fremantle, Cantonment Hill, Victoria Quay and the river foreshore.
“The City of Fremantle is already receiving significant community correspondence on this project and it’s important we get this right, which is why we’re encouraging the state government to consult widely with the local community and listen to what they have to say.”
At a meeting on Wednesday, Fremantle Council voted to request that Main Roads WA commence community engagement on the new bridge as soon as possible, and that this engagement process include a full and transparent evaluation of at least two different design options and bridge alignments.
The council also adopted a number of design principles in relation to the project including:
- The bridge should demonstrate excellence in design and create a memorable gateway experience.
- The public realm resulting from the project is safe, attractive, connected and inviting.
- The character of the North Fremantle townsite is protected from additional traffic impacts and extended towards the river.
- The project should deliver uninterrupted connectivity of the PSP cycle path to Fremantle and North Fremantle rail stations.
- A significant portion of the existing heritage-listed Fremantle Traffic Bridge is preserved, especially at the southern end, and able to be used and activated.
- The significance of the location to Traditional Owners is clearly understood, respected and interpreted in the design.
“We understand the community concern and the complex issues regarding this major project and we expect an open and transparent community engagement process from Main Roads WA,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“While the council will reserve its final decision until after the consultation process is complete, the principles we have adopted provide a very clear message about what we see as integral to the project’s success.”
The existing Fremantle Traffic Bridge was officially opened on 15 December 1939 and was originally designed as a temporary structure.
It was temporarily closed in 2016 after erosion around its pylons made it unstable.