Bridging the gap costly

City of Swan Mayor Charlie Zannino at the site of the proposed bridge. d422512
City of Swan Mayor Charlie Zannino at the site of the proposed bridge. d422512

LWP managing director Danny Murphy said the developer’s original traffic modelling for the area, based on the ultimate development of Ellenbrook including the Perth Darwin Highway, was based on the bridge not being there.

Mr Murphy said Ellenbrook’s plan had been established for decades but only in 2009 had the City of Swan imposed a condition to construct a new bridge.

‘Recently, the council has determined the bridge should be there and it initially imposed over 50 per cent of the costs on to Ellenbrook (LWP),’ he said.

Developers are set to contribute 41 per cent of the $12.1 million bridge while ratepayers around the bridge will pay the rest through a special area rate that could remain in place for years.

Following a hearing at the State Administrative Tribunal, LWP’s contribution was reduced to 24.9 per cent while the remaining 16.1 per cent of developer contributions relate to land belonging to multiple owners.

‘The issue is, it is a $12.1 million bridge, it’s a very expensive item of infrastructure for the few numbers of people that’ll use it between our village eight, Equis Lake and the Upper Swan development,’ Mr Murphy said.

‘Between the Perth Darwin Highway and council’s plan for Gnangara Road, the traffic situation will be much better in a few years.

‘If it was a cheaper bridge, it wouldn’t be as much of an issue.’

For future developers in north Ellenbrook or south Bullsbrook to pay for the bridge, the City of Swan would need to amend the developer contribution plan (DCP) and developer contribution area (DCA) to include that land.

City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said amendments were possible.

‘For this to occur there would need to be a demonstrably clear connection between the development and the traffic using the bridge,’ he said.

Mr Murphy said he expected a lot more trucks along the bridge’s route.