New Swanbourne bridge design stretches public patience

Residents were concerned when they saw concepts for designs for a new bridge at Congdon Street in Swanbourne. Picture: Jon Bassett.
Residents were concerned when they saw concepts for designs for a new bridge at Congdon Street in Swanbourne. Picture: Jon Bassett.

NO more traffic on residential streets, keeping a village atmosphere and not disrupting shops were prime concerns at an argumentative public meeting at Claremont Football Club on Wednesday.

The meeting was to discuss a new Congdon Street railway bridge to be built in 2020 in Swanbourne.

“The fact that you’ve been working on this for four years just shows how focused you are getting rid of this (existing) bridge,” architect Neil Cownie said, who wants a master plan for the village to address issues raised by a new bridge.

The $12 million bridge is currently unbudgeted, but Main Roads wants the public’s preferred route that either uses the current 100-year-old timber structure’s straight alignment or two routes going diagonally from Saladin to Windsor streets, or Saladin to Parry Street.

Mr Cownie said Main Roads’ offer of removing two Norfolk pines for a third alternative, west of the current bridge, was just “a carrot”, and residents would be shocked by the designs’ appearances “like a freeway flyover” when they rose to 5.4m for topography.

Main Roads project director Peter Ward said more traffic on Saladin Street could be stopped by no left turns at its Claremont Crescent roundabout, and rat-running and congestion could be resolved with “micro-modelling” of traffic movements at nine intersections in the area.

Picture: Jon Bassett

Residents were concerned about the new bridge’s possible role in greater plans when Mr Ward said planning had started to replace the wooden Eric Street bridge 1km south in Cottesloe, and any eventual extension of West Coast Highway south to Fremantle.

There was more concern about the new bridge’s role when it was revealed the designs could cope with 19.5m articulated trucks, and not the 8.5m rubbish lorries used by councils.

The public has six weeks to comment at Main Roads.