Swanbourne bridge gets Claremont nod

Cars could continue to use the old Congdon Street bridge when a replacement is built alongside the ageing structure in Swanbourne.
Cars could continue to use the old Congdon Street bridge when a replacement is built alongside the ageing structure in Swanbourne.

CLAREMONT Council has endorsed a new road bridge design allowing a larger Swanbourne train station and to keep traffic flowing on the current structure while it’s being replaced over the Fremantle Railway line.

However, neighbouring Cottesloe Council is holding off on any endorsement.

Main Roads presented four options for a design to Claremont last month including the route that got councillors’ nod, from the Saladin Street roundabout north side of the railway, over the line to a new roundabout at Windsor Street, which would become a cul-de-sac.

“Option two is a no-brainer, having lived with the Ashton Road bridge rebuild for the past four months,” Cr Jill Goetze said.

Ashton Road businesses, east of Claremont Showground, have suffered while their bridge across the railway line is replaced with an $11 million structure.

Swanbourne resident Neil Cownie said Swanbourne shops relied on the current Congdon Street bridge directing traffic past their doors, and any design for the new bridge required changing so cars continued on that route, and that a 2.5m drop over the bridge’s length did not make it “look like a freeway off-ramp”.

However, councillors were unconvinced.

“No matter what we do this new bridge is going to be higher because trains and their electrical cables are going to be higher,” Cr Kate Main said.

Main Roads wants to replace the 30m-long bridge, built in 1910, because it does not meet current width and load standards, and its walking path is inadequate.

Construction of a new bridge, which is unfunded, could take about nine months, but a Main Road spokeswoman said it was in early planning stages, subject to confirming the cost and any engineering, environmental, social impacts, after which community consultation would be conducted.

Cottesloe councillors decided to defer considering any of the four options until their meeting this month.