Thursday 28th May, 2020

Labor pledges $530m to Perth level crossings, Fremantle bridge

Fremantle Rail Bridge. Photo: WA PTA
Photo: PTA WA

Labor has strengthened its election infrastructure push in Western Australia, promising $415 million to remove six level crossings on the Armadale line, and another $115 million for a new traffic and rail bridge in Fremantle.

The announcement effectively means Labor is matching the Coalition’s promise to rebuild the Fremantle bridge, and to remove three level crossings on the Armadale line, but then adds another three Armadale line crossings to the mix, at a cost of around $210 million in additional federal funds.

Labor’s proposal would remove level crossings at Oats Street, Weshpool Road, Mint Street, Wharf Street, Hamilton Street and William Street, via $415 million in federal funding. The Coalition has committed to remove the first three crossings on the list, at a federal cost of $207.5 million.

“At present the boom gates at these six level crossings close between 200 and 300 times a day, each time for up to two minutes,” shadow infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese said on April 15. “Eliminating those delays will ease the frustration of motorists and facilitate the faster movement of people and goods around the city.”

The Fremantle Bridge project will see an 80-year-old wooden traffic and rail bridge replaced, along with the duplication of rail to provide for the separation of freight and passenger movements.

After Labor’s April 15 announcement, both sides have now committed $115 million in federal money to the project.

“The increase in rail capacity will allow further progress in expanding freight-on-rail during the day,” Albanese said. “This will be good for the environment, will reduce congestion and truck freight, and means there will be less pressure on scheduling freight trains during the night.”

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