Bridge downgrade ‘in small print’

Bridge downgrade ‘in small print’

A PROPOSED bridge linking Bartram Road in Success to Bartram Road in Atwell has been downgraded to a pedestrian crossover by the City of Cockburn.

But Main Roads maintains the bridge over the Kwinana Freeway, when built, will be one capable of carrying motor vehicles.

The bridge, talked about for more than a decade, featured in the City of Cockburn’s Regional and Major Roadworks 2013- 2030 plan as an $18 million carriageway, pencilled in tentatively to be built between 2024 and 2028.

But in the city’s corporate business plan, adopted by councillors in June, that was changed to an $8 million pedestrian bridge, to be built between 2022-25.

Cockburn councillor Steve Portelli said elected members were caught out by the change.

“It was in small print on a map that no councillor had been briefed on,” he said.

“I had picked it up and asked what was going on prior to the June meeting and got a reasonable explanation for the change.”

Mr Portelli said he was informed the cost of a vehicle bridge had been re-estimated at $40 million and that it was now too costly for the city to cover alone.

Despite what is now in the adopted business plan, a Main Roads spokeswoman said a bridge for motor vehicles across the freeway was still the plan.

“Main Roads’ future plans still provide for a vehicle overpass at Bartram Road,” she said.

“The Main Roads proposal is to provide a bridge with access for vehicles, buses, cyclists and pedestrians.”

During the city’s July 14 council meeting, Councillor Portelli called for a report into why the decision was made administratively without input from elected members, what consultation was undertaken with Main Roads and who is responsible for delivering the bridge. He also asked how the changes in the plan would be explained to ratepayers.

Mr Portelli said he called for the report because he was not happy with such a large change being made prior to councillors being given a proper brief.

With that report being developed, the Gazette was told the city could not provide a response to further queries until after the document was presented to the council.