The construction of the proposed new Fremantle Traffic Bridge requires the decommissioning of the existing wooden bridge BEFORE the new bridge can be built. Where is the Traffic Impact Assessment Report associated with this new bridge?
The data below, compiled by Main Roads WA in 2015, estimated that 27,000 vehicle used the old traffic bridge every day [2021 update 23,000 vpd]. Almost 37,000 vehicles cross the Swan River using the Stirling Highway bridge immediately to the East.
Considering that the Stirling Highway bridge already struggles with peak hour traffic at the intersection of Canning Highway, the decommissioning of the old traffic bridge before the replacement bridge is built will cause traffic chaos on both sides of the river. 64,000 vehicles will need to navigate through the Stirling Highway / Canning Highway intersection every day, up from 37,000 vehicles per day today.
In August 2021, Main Roads WA released “Swan River Crossing – Frequently Asked Questions”, which included:
Will construction impact on my travel times?
There will be some impacts to the traffic network and, at a minimum, will include single lane closures on the Fremantle Traffic Bridge. The Alliance is working with Main Roads to minimise the full extent of traffic impacts such as intersection modifications. Nonetheless, motorists should expect there will be delays during construction Where is the traffic impact study.
These single lane closures are already taking place in August 2021. This represents the “minimum” impact!
If this represents the minimum, it must be assumed that the impact will be worse than a single lane closure. This should ring alarm bells for commuters and residents alike, as the true impact of this project during the construction phase is not being properly disclosed.
The “Swan River Crossing – Frequently Asked Questions”, also addressed:
When will the construction begin?
Early works are expected to commence in late 2021, with construction ramping up in 2022.
There is no mention of how long the construction will take or when the new bridge will be completed.
When the community was presented with 4 options for the new bridge alignment, all involved squeezing the new bridge east of the existing railway bridge. The community proposals have not addressed the traffic chaos that North Fremantle residents will be subjected to during the construction phase, or the duration that they will need to endure this nightmare.
Fremantle deserves better, and a simple solution exists…
A bridge west of the rail line, built in Fremantle Port land, can be completed while the existing bridge continues to operate. It could be opened to the public on the same day as the decommissioning of the wooden traffic bridge, not only avoiding traffic chaos during the construction period, but also providing an opportunity to address the traffic congestion in North Fremantle on a wholistic, long-term planning basis.