Cr Brian Kavanagh said the condition of the current 560m-long traffic guardrail from Devil’s Elbow to the Leak Street The Esplanade intersection was affecting roadside aesthetics.
‘It’s starting to look like any other suburb, when it’s prime river frontage,’ he said.
The council was quoted $86,600 from Erections WA for a galvanised rail to replace the current structure in budgeted works to improve road safety.
Staff said the current rail was too low and could allow a car to go over it should it be hit at substantial speed.
Support posts of different materials were spaced incorrectly, white ant infested and had rot, while parts of the rail could ‘spear’ a car instead of crumpling at intersections.
Councillors’ debate centred on whether the new rail should be painted to blend with cliff vegetation, and whether the work would require a second period of road closures, after the initial installation period.
‘The ideal will be to have it done at the same time,’ president Rachel Thomas said.
Staff said a powder coat painting of the new rail would cost about $50,000 extra and would prevent a second round of road closures.
However, the coating would be about $30,000 more than painting.
A high-tension wire barrier was rejected because it was too expensive and intended for freeway speed traffic.
Councillors agreed to accept the galvanised barrier quote and for staff to investigate whether painting would be a false economy.
The new barrier will be installed before the middle of next year.