New iconic bridge on way for Fremantle

  • New design to replace ageing Fremantle Traffic Bridge released
  • Enhanced design was developed in response to community feedback
  • Bridge will be Australia’s only extradosed bridge combining both cantilevers and cable support
  • Changes to road layout no longer being proposed as part of design
  • Containbow art installation will now remain in its existing location

An enhanced design for a new bridge to replace the ageing Fremantle Traffic Bridge has today been submitted for Development Approval.

The new bridge will be Australia’s only extradosed bridge, a design that incorporates both cantilevers and cable support.

A final conceptual design was released last year, but following community feedback, the decision was made to reassess the design, road layout and alignment.

The new design delivers on community aspirations for the bridge to be an iconic entry statement to Fremantle, and no longer proposes any changes to the existing road layout, which were opposed by the local community.

The decision to retain the existing road layout means the iconic Containbow art installation can remain in its current location.

The new bridge will be built on the alignment of the existing timber bridge, with the construction methodology being used minimising the amount of time the bridge will need to be closed.

It’s expected the bridge will need to be closed for up to 12 months, but this is not expected to occur until at least 2025. The aim will be to keep the shut down to a minimum with positive lessons from the construction of the Fitzroy River Bridge.

Main Roads will be liaising with the community and local businesses about closure dates and traffic management once project and delivery timelines have been established.

Given progress in planning for Westport, the decision has been made to defer the rail bridge component of the project. The revised scope will reduce the overall cost of the project.

The Swan River Crossings project has been running for several years, with a number of different concepts investigated and developed since 2020, in response to community and stakeholder feedback.

The new option will:

  • build on the existing traffic bridge alignment;
  • maintain two traffic lanes in each direction;
  • retain existing intersections and traffic flows – tying into Queen Victoria Street to the north and the current Canning Highway intersection to the south;
  • include new, wider and safer paths (up to four metres wide) on both sides of the new bridge to connect into existing paths for people walking and riding;
  • improve navigational safety for boats, kayaks and other river users;
  • minimise impacts to the existing limestone escarpment and landscape; and
  • maintain Beach Street as a local access road.

Considerations on heritage interpretations that incorporate materials from the existing bridge are currently underway.

Subject to Development Approval, the earliest construction could start would be in the second half of 2024.

The new concept has now been submitted for Development Approval, and the community is invited to have their say via the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage consultation hub.

As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

“Extensive stakeholder and community consultation has been underway since 2019 and we have heard many differing views about what the project should deliver including its design and location.

“Each change to the concept takes considerable time and effort, particularly when we’re dealing with such a constrained site, where small adjustments to any of the parameters can result in significant impacts to the overall outcome.

“The key outcome of the Swan River Crossings project has always been to create a safe crossing over the river – the existing bridge has a high level of corrosion and rot and must be replaced.

“Replacing the bridge in the same position as the existing Fremantle Traffic Bridge and maintaining the existing road layout reflects community and stakeholder desires for a smaller construction footprint with minimal impact to the southern escarpment and the existing Queen Victoria Street and Canning Highway intersections.

“The design also delivers on the aspiration for a more iconic entry statement, and I am sure the new bridge in conjunction with the Containbow art installation delivers on that.”

As stated by Federal Member for Fremantle Josh Wilson:

“Working together, the Cook and Albanese Labor Governments will deliver a new Fremantle Traffic Bridge that provides a safer crossing with much bigger and better pathways for pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone who wants to enjoy one of the best port vistas in the world.

“This project has been needed for some time and I am glad to have argued for the federal funding contribution since my first election in 2016.This distinctive new span will form a durable, well-designed, and functional connection across the Derrbyl Yerrigan for future generations.I am grateful for the strong community engagement on this key piece of new infrastructure.”

As stated by Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk:

“We have known for some time that the Fremantle Traffic Bridge needs replacing, and in building a new bridge we have the opportunity to create a unique entry statement for visitors to our beautiful city.

“Getting the design right is vital, and being such a large project with siteconstraints, this can be challenging,so I thank Fremantle locals for their patience.

“I’m pleased we have landed on a design that I believe addresses both the aesthetic and practical wishes of the community.

“The new design will also improve access for foot and bike traffic, something I know locals are passionate about.”

As stated by Bicton MLA Lisa O’Malley:

“The old Fremantle Traffic Bridge is in dire need of replacement, and we’ve engaged extensively with the community to ensure the new bridge delivers on the community’s expectations.

“I know for many boat owners and river users here in Bicton that the scenic Swan River is an important part of life. That’s why I’m glad this design will improve the navigational safety of boat owners and river users in our community, and beyond for years to come.

“I encourage the community to have their say on the new design during the Development Approval process.”

/Public Release. View in full here.