Main Roads Caves in to Fremantle Ports
Looking carefully at the picture above held by Transport Minister Saffioti and Labor MP Josh Wilson, it would seem that the new $130 million bridge for Fremantle will be built downstream of the current one (oceanside) and include rail, in a "combined road/rail solution."
But, since this photo op promoting jobs (temporary ones for out of town workers) and "busting congestion" (while carrying no more vehicles than today), the rumour mill has it that Main Roads have decided to put the new bridge UPSTREAM of the traffic bridge due to pressure from Fremantle Ports, a government money making enterprise. Fremantle Ports for over 100 years has tried to push their port up the river at every opportunity and would be dead against a downstream option.
Such a cave in by Main Roads would:
a) necessitate the destruction of the current heritage listed timber bridge.
b) fail to deliver the improved rail access.
c) fail to deliver the possibility of extending Curtin Avenue for a seamless interface with the bridge, thus saving the town centre of North Fremantle from its current status as a traffic sewer for 25,000 through vehicles a day.
The Fremantle Society points out that the current wooden traffic bridge is heritage listed at the highest level of listing, is capable of having its current life extended, and if a new bridge is built, the wooden bridge should remain for pedestrians and cyclists, and be maintained by Main Roads.
Main Roads needs to listen to the community it serves, and not Fremantle Ports.