FUNDING for a $230 million replacement of Fremantle Traffic Bridge will be included in the state budget, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti has announced.
The State Government confirmed on Monday it had secured Commonwealth funding for 50% of the project, which is forecast to create 1,500 jobs.
It is anticipated construction of the ageing bridge would start in 2021-22 and take approximately two years to complete.
“This new bridge will put an end to the expensive patch ups on the old structure, which has served the area well for 80 years but is deteriorating and becoming a liability”, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said.
“Replacing the Fremantle Traffic Bridge will create 1,500 jobs and will ensure public safety — not just for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, but also boats using the Swan River below.
“As METRONET expands across Perth, so will passenger demand and train frequency, which is why we need to carefully plan this vital river crossing to accommodate for both transport modes.
“Replacing the Fremantle Traffic Bridge is also an opportunity to examine the opportunities to expand rail access into Fremantle — both for passenger and freight trains.
“With increased rail capacity, the new bridge could unlock the next phase of the expansion of freight on rail and reducing truck movements on metropolitan roads.”
Infrastructure Australia has included the replacement of the ageing bridge as a ‘priority initiative’ to be delivered in the ‘near term’.
A new bridge offers potential to separate freight and Transperth train lines and allow for a greater share of freight moving to Fremantle Port by rail.
The State Government has met with the City of Fremantle and will investigate the feasibility of retaining parts of the old bridge for community use, subject to design of the new structure and future engineering investigations.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said replacing the traffic bridge with a new one in a similar location was one of the key projects outlined in the City’s ‘Freo 2029 – Transformational Moves’ strategy.
“We’re very pleased the replacement of the traffic bridge has now been recognised by Infrastructure Australia as a nationally significant project,” Mayor Pettitt said in February, when Infrastructure Australia’s latest priority list was released.
“The bridge is an important northern gateway into Fremantle, but it’s clear it’s reaching the end of its life as a carriageway for cars and trucks.