Here’s what key Pollies think of the Bridges ‘Final concept design’

Today, Main Roads WA unveiled the much awaited Traffic and Rail Bridges Concept Plan, as we reported here.

At the same time, the Premier, Mark McGowan and the Minister for Transport, Planning and Ports, Rita Saffioti, issued a media statement endorsing the plan and carrying their own comments on it, as well as the comments of other Federal and State politicians.

As is well know, the $280 million ‘Swan River Crossings project’ is one of Fremantle’s most significant infrastructure projects and will see the delivery of new rail and traffic bridges.

The project is jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments, each contributing $140 million.

So what are our Pollies saying about it?

Our Premier Mark McGowan has said –

Under my Government, the transformation of Fremantle into a modern and vibrant port city is underway.

“The Swan River Crossings project will create the new gateway to Fremantle, providing a direct link into the revitalised and bustling Victoria Quay.

“It will build on the area’s unique heritage to develop a new public space at the Naval Store, linking up with Fremantle’s other waterfront precincts as they undergo a major redevelopment over coming years.”

The Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King has observed that –

The $280 million Swan River Crossings project is an investment in the future of Fremantle.

“The Swan River Crossings project will replace the Fremantle Traffic Bridge, improve cycling and pedestrian paths, increase passenger and freight rail capacity, and improve navigational safety for river users.

“Our commitment to investing in transport infrastructure will provide opportunities for local business and create local jobs.”

Minister Rita Saffioti, who has carried the main Ministerial responsibility for seeing the at times controversial project through, has noted –

The Swan River Crossings project has been talked about for many years and we are now well on the way to delivering a project where community input has clearly influenced the outcome.

“It is very exciting to see a design that responds to the community’s aspirations for more open spaces and considered urban design.

“This concept design will allow for traffic to flow more freely into Fremantle and create better connections to precincts, such as Victoria Quay and the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, where significant redevelopment planning is underway.

“The road alignment will also create new precincts for the community to enjoy, including a public open space in front of the Naval Store“.

Our local Federal Member for Fremantle, Josh Wilson, is of a like mind, commenting –

The new Fremantle bridge is a once-in-a-century project with multiple benefits. It will ensure that road, rail, pedestrian, and cycle traffic flow more smoothly, and the surrounding area will be revitalised with more space and better access around heritage places like Cantonment Hill.

“This major project will create easier, safer, and more spectacular journeys for people, bikes, boats, and commuter traffic.

“As the Swan River Crossing project moves into the next phase, I also look forward to the opportunities it will create for local employment and businesses.”

Similarly, our State Member for Fremantle, Simone McGurk, said –

Our Government is undertaking significant work to revitalise Fremantle, and the Swan River Crossings project is going to be a critical part of how we transform our harbour city in the future.

“The changes will create better connections into Fremantle and also create new open spaces for the community to enjoy, and retain the historic Naval Store.”

State Member for Bicton, Lisa O’Malley, who also found herself in the debate over the new bridges project at different times, also seems content with the concept plan, stating that –

“Not only will this project deliver significantly improved rail and traffic bridges into Fremantle, it will improve the way people enter Fremantle from Canning Highway.

“Taking Canning Highway under the new traffic bridges will not only create an uninterrupted journey into Fremantle, but also open up new spaces for the community to enjoy.”

Fremantle Shipping News will look forward to reporting on local Freo community reaction to the concept plan over the next little while and the extent to which it believes the concept design plan has responded to community input and aspirations.

* By Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News

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