Unveiled – New Traffic & Rail Bridges Concept Plan

The much awaited concept plan for the Swan River Crossings Project has just been released by Main Roads WA.

Here’s a first look.

As the design notes reasonably say, the plan is set to ‘transform a key gateway into Fremantle and create new connections for road, rail, river, and path users’.

As you study the images you’ll see the area in front of the heritage listed Naval Store is designed to create opportunities for heritage interpretation, placemaking, urban design, landscaping, and community connections. This should enable the past, present, and future of Fremantle to be brought together.

Shifting Canning Highway also allows for future direct access into Victoria Quay.

This plan also explains the bridges and roads layouts.

The positives from the plan, as explained by Main Roads, are set out in this graphic.

Road network changes

Main Roads say they have planned changes to the road network by:
* Removing the signalised intersection at Canning Highway and Queen Victoria Street.
* Realigning Canning Highway from East Street to travel down and under the new bridge before connecting to Beach Street.
* Prioritising journeys into Fremantle via Queen Victoria Street, providing a more direct, free-flowing journey into the city.

Other features identified include:
* Pedestrians and cyclists will have new paths on both sides of the new traffic bridge: a 4-metre-wide standard pedestrian and cyclist path on the western side and a 3-metre-wide shared path on the eastern side.
* Increased passenger and freight rail capacity.
* Higher and wider clearance under the bridge to improve navigational safety for river users.

What’s happening next?

Local architects and urban designers have been engaged to develop the architecture, urban and landscape design framework for the bridges and surrounds. A key focus is the opportunity to enhance and activate the space in front of the Naval Store as part of a detailed heritage interpretation strategy that aims to provide the best Aboriginal and European heritage outcomes.

Main Roads also say that, since April 2021, they have been investigating water, services, geotechnical conditions, and road pavements to help inform the design development. Next steps include the commencement of detailed design as well as to prepare the area prior to construction.

Community Engagement

Online information session is planned busy Main Roads in coming weeks to share the design, provide updates, and take questions. If you’d like to participate, send your email to hello@fremantlebridges.com.au

In the meantime here are some answers provided by Mains Roads to some FAQs.

Completion period

Detailed design development and pre-construction is estimated to be completed between July 2021 to December 2022.

The estimated construction period is between 2022 to 2026.

* By Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News

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