Armadale Road bridge backing lacking


A map showing the proposed flyover.
A map showing the proposed flyover.

CALLS for a federal Liberal Party commitment to fund all or part of the Armadale Road bridge remained unanswered last week.

The $160 million bridge will link Armadale Road to North Lake Road over the Kwinana freeway.

Federal Labor recently offered half of the money needed to build it if it won next month’s federal election.

The Liberal Party is yet to make a similar commitment.

While Liberal candidate for Burt Matt O’Sullivan wants to see the bridge built, he has reportedly questioned where it ranks on the list of road priorities.

Fremantle’s Liberal candidate Pierrette Kelly also offered no guarantees, saying she would seek to secure the money “in line with state needs and priorities”.

A Main Roads spokeswoman said the bridge would be vital, but conceded it was behind other projects in its development strategy for the area.

“Provision of a North Lake Road bridge and the proposed new direct connection from Armadale road will provide some traffic relief to the Armadale Road-Beeliar Drive-Kwinana Freeway interchange,” she said.

“However, traffic modelling has shown that there is still a need to widen the interchange as this is the major access to Cockburn Central and the Gateway shopping centre, which is planned to undergo significant expansion in the future.”

In 2014-15 there were about 40,000 daily vehicle movements on Armadale Road. That number is expected to increase as developments continue.

Simulations by Main Roads have about 45 per cent of traffic heading east in the afternoon using the proposed bridge, if it is built.

The remaining 55 per cent of traffic would use the current bridge.

Thirty per cent of people heading west in the morning would use the bridge, with 70 per cent favouring the current one.

The cities of Cockburn and Armadale joined forces on the Community Connect South campaign last year.

The aim was to secure funding to widen Armadale Road and build the bridge.

With money for work on Armadale Road locked in, Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett called for the Liberal party to match Labor’s offering.

“This bridge is desperately needed if we are to give people proper access to their jobs and if the full economic potential of the region is to be realised,” he said.Andrew Byars, Perron Group’s general manager of property investment, said the bridge had to be built for Gateway to expand.

“The Perron Group is willing to invest about $300m in the next stage of development of the shopping centre and that will create around 1300 jobs for the local community,” he said.

“If the bridge doesn’t go ahead that investment is not able to take place.” Greens candidate for Fremantle Kate Davis supported the bridge being built but said alternative transport options should be considered too.

Chris Jenkins, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Fremantle, said more analysis was needed, with new roads simply upping demand.