AFTER announcing $10.3 million funding for an upgrade to the Mandurah and Pinjarra Roads intersection, Transport Minister Bill Marmion checked out progress on the new $51 million Mandurah traffic bridge.
At the traffic bridge, Mr Marmion was shown how bridge construction involved shunting 13 concrete sections across the river one after the other every two weeks.
Workers have started pouring concrete at 3am due to recent heat and the fifth section will be put in place this week.
On the Estuary Bridge, Mr Marmion was met by a large group of residents upset about traffic congestion.
They were also concerned at access for emergency services and the possibility of head-on collisions.
According to Dawesville MLA Kim Hames, 65 per cent of workers leaving the “island” did so via just two lanes over the old traffic bridge and Estuary Bridge.
Dawesville Liberal candidate Zak Kirkup said he could not understand why space was not left in 1986 for the addition of extra lanes.
“When Forrest Highway opened, traffic on Old Coast Road dropped off but it is now back up to 9000 vehicles a day,’’ he said.
He said hundreds of people had already signed a petition.
A new bridge is estimated to cost between $80 and $100 million.
Mr Marmion said Main Roads was aware of the problem.
“It’s a problem that needs to be looked at sooner than later,’’ he said.
The Estuary Bridge was opened by then Premier Brian Burke in 1986 and at the time, construction of adequate lanes for future traffic use was seen as too expensive.