Bid for bet­ter bridge deal

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - Jon Bas­sett Opin­ion, page 9

AR­CHI­TECT Neil Cownie wants to use newly linked ends of the old Cong­don Street rail­way bridge for cy­clists and walk­ers if a pro­posed re­place­ment is built in Swan­bourne in 2020.

“The key is keep­ing the her­itage north and south ends of the old bridge and re­plac­ing the mid-sec­tion with a lighter cross­ing for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists, with any new bridge for ve­hi­cles be­hind it,” Mr Cownie said.

Main Roads WA is seek­ing the pub­lic’s pre­ferred align­ment from four un­bud­geted de­signs to re­place the 108-year-old wooden bridge its staff claims is “rot­ten”.

How­ever, res­i­dents’ con­cerns about more traf­fic on streets, keep­ing the Swan­bourne vil­lage at­mos­phere and not dis­rupt­ing shops were sparked at an of­ten ar­gu­men­ta­tive pub­lic meet­ing at Clare­mont Foot­ball Club on Oc­to­ber 23.

Other is­sues in­cluded the role the new bridge could have in the pos­si­ble ex­ten­sion of West Coast High­way into Cottes­loe and why it was de­signed for 19m ar­tic­u­lated trucks.

Mr Cownie said Main Roads had to say what type of ve­hi­cles the new bridge was to carry and a less heav­ily engi­neered bridge could be built if traf­fic was kept to 30km/h.

He said a much-needed mas­ter plan could con­sider the bridge’s role in con­nect- ing Swan­bourne, Cottes­loe and Clare­mont, main­tain­ing the ad­ja­cent shops and of­fices, and how it worked with a re­place­ment Eric Street bridge in Cottes­loe in 2022.

A Main Roads spokes­woman said they would sup­port coun­cils com­plet­ing mas­ter plans for the new bridge’s align­ment.

Lo­cal traf­fic is­sues raised dur­ing ini­tial com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion could be stud­ied af­ter con­fir­ma­tion of a pre­ferred align­ment.

She said the 19m ve­hi­cle was used for the op­tions be­cause those semi-trail­ers had un­re­stricted ac­cess to all WA roads and the new bridge had no even­tual role in any wider plans.­mu­ni­ d487855

Judy Welch, Ann Black, Rita Sil­li­toe and Lor­raine Meeks with some cro­cheted pop­pies for the cer­e­mony. Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

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