AS a former engineer, WA Transport Minister Bill Marmion is very impressed with the development of Mandurah’s new traffic bridge.
Mr Marmion visited Mandurah today to inspect the bridge with project partners Main Roads WA and the City of Mandurah.
He said the new bridge was exactly what Mandurah needed and although Forrest Highway had taken much of the traffic, there was still congestion in the rapidly growing city.
With four lanes and separated five-metre wide pedestrian facilities, the new bridge would improve journey times, traffic capacity and safety for all road users.
He said more than 200 jobs had already been created during construction.
Mayor Marina Vergone said the council had asked the community what it wanted.
“We have delivered exactly what the community wanted,’’ she said.
The new bridge will feature a section of the old bridge for a fishing, crabbing and prawning platform on the eastern side.
It has been made possible by $40 million from Main Roads, $8.8 million from the Royalties for Regions program through the Growing our South initiative and $3 million from the City of Mandurah.
The old bridge carries more than 24,000 vehicles a day and is load limited to 17 tonnes because of its age and condition.
The weight restriction will remain in place until the new bridge is completed and operating late next year.
The old traffic bridge replaced an even older bridge when it was officially opened in 1953 by Works Minister John Tonkin in one of the major events of the decade.
The original bridge, built “with astonishing speed” by a Mr Price in 1894 for 1792 pounds, three shillings and ten pence, was falling down after almost 60 years, ravaged by time, tide and the teredo worm.