MOTORISTS in Fremantle have been warned about possible delays, with important work to replace ageing gas and water infrastructure scheduled to begin this week.
Work will take about 10 weeks and is expected to be finished before the start of the $270 million transformation of the Kings Square precinct in August.
The gas and water project will cover High Street and the High Street Mall, Queen Street, Adelaide Street, William Street and Newman Court.
ATCO Gas Australia president Pat Donovan said some pipelines in the area were about 80 years old.“Renewing these assets is important to ensure the continued secure and reliable supply to consumers now, as well as for decades to come,” he said.
Water Corporation asset delivery manager Mark Leathersich said 1.1km of cast iron water mains around Kings Square, which were installed in 1890, would be replaced.
“They were relined in the 1950s but are nearing the end of their useful life,” he said.
Work will be held collaboratively to minimise the disruption to nearby businesses and visitors, but some detours will be in place for motorists.“We have aligned our work with ATCO Gas Australia to reduce disruption to the local community and ensure our project is carried out before the redevelopment of the area,” Mr Leathersich said.
Earlier in the week, Sirona Capital announced that Australian firm Probuild would begin the $270 million transformation of Fremantle’s Kings Square precinct in August.
The project includes a $220 million Kings Square upgrade, delivering new commercial office and retail space, as well as a $50 million administration and civic centre for the City of Fremantle.
Completion is expected in mid-2019, with more than 1500 Western Australian government employees from the Housing Authority, Department of Corrective Services and Department of Transport to relocate to there in 2020.
Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly said the appointment was an important milestone.
“We have selected a firm with a history of delivering high quality projects both in Western Australia and nationally,” he said.
Like with Elizabeth Quay, Fremantle BID chair Karl Bullers said there could be some short-term pain for businesses before they get a bite of the “great big carrot” at the end of the development.
“There will be 1200 – 1500 workers coming into the town which will boost the weekday economy, which has been struggling in Fremantle for many years” he said.
“It will give a new heart to the City which is very exciting.
“But I do stress there will be some short-term pain for businesses on the periphery so we have to do as much as we can to support them through those years.”