Councillor calls for full tunnel option

 Robert Fittock wants a complete tunnel to stop trucks dominating North Fremantle.
Robert Fittock wants a complete tunnel to stop trucks dominating North Fremantle.

�If the State Government is investigating a tunnel from Clontarf Hill, south of Fremantle, to Canning Highway, then it should go all the way, under the Swan River, to the port,� the North Fremantle ward councillor said.

Current plans for the $1.6 billion PFL end with six lanes in East Fremantle, 1km south of the river.

Main Roads have told councillors that Stirling Bridge could be doubled in size for the PFL, but there are no current designs from the bridge through North Fremantle for the work mooted to cost an extra $500 million.

�It would be diabolical, as we would just be a community of road systems just for trucks,� Cr Fittock said.

He said he could ask his council to request the Government investigate a complete tunnel that could be an automated rail line under the Swan River in concrete boxes sunk into the riverbed, but he had been told at meetings it could be too expensive.

�You can�t get up to the port with the right incline if you go under the river, as it�s too steep, and the Perth Transit Authority and Main Roads have recently looked at it,� Curtin University sustainability professor Peter Newman said.

A passenger rail tunnel announced recently will cost the Government about $250 million/km to serve Perth Airport.

Prof Newman�s PFL report to Fremantle Council in June also said a new rail bridge for electric trains carrying containers would have �significant added costs�, including the need for hubs to transfer containers between trains and trucks.

The report said the best alternative was to start construction of a Kwinana container port served by a southern truck route avoiding Fremantle.