MANDURAH’S much-loved old traffic bridge will be gone by the end of December.
Demolition work is underway on the eastern foreshore and sections are being removed in sequence as demolition advances towards the west.
The old bridge has 23 sections and will be completely demolished, apart from the fishing platform on the eastern foreshore and a few columns at either end.
During the work, the road on the old bridge is being used as a working platform for cranes, trucks and other machinery to access the bridge from the west.
In shallower water on the eastern foreshore, bridge sections have been attached to buoyancy devices, separated from the bridge structure and lifted out by crane.
A spotter is in place to ensure there are no marine mammals in the area while a silt curtain contains any debris.
The under-bridge fishing platforms and columns are being cut with a saw, tied to inflatable airbags and floated to an area on the western foreshore for removal, reducing the impact on the river bed and marine environment.
A work boat guides the pieces to the western landing point.
Work is not expected to significantly affect boats on the estuary and closure is not planned although intermittent changes to the navigation channel may be implemented to maintain access.
A Main Roads WA spokesman said boat traffic should approach the area slowly and follow all signs and signals in the area.
The work is being guided by Environmental Management and Vessel Management Plans, which include comprehensive measures to protect the marine environment.
The bulk of materials removed from the bridge will be recycled including road base, steel and concrete.
Timber salvaged from the bridge will be re-used for the eastern fishing platform refurbishment and the surplus returned to the City of Mandurah.
Once the City knows how much timber is available, the community will be asked for input on how it should be distributed and used.