A new multimodal bridge over the Swan River at Fremantle will be brought forward by six months.
The $240 million project is funded on a 50-50 basis by the Western Australia and federal governments and has had procurement brought forward by six months, with construction expected to start by late 2021, said federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge.
“Fremantle continues to be a bustling hub and we brought forward funds so construction on this project could kick off sooner.”
The bridge will carry rail and road traffic, as well as providing a pedestrian and cycle link between north and south Fremantle. The current bridge is nearing the end of its useful life.
The alliance contract is expected to be awarded in early 2021, said WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
“Community consultation is now underway and will inform the project’s development and design to ensure we reach the best possible outcome for this significant infrastructure in Fremantle.”
Infrastructure Australia added the project to its Infrastructre Priority List in February, 2019. The independent advisory body noted that rail connectivity in the region is limited due to the shared Fremantle Rail Bridge. Currently, passenger services are given priority, however both freight and passenger volumes on the bridge are expected to increase. Adding more connections would prevent delays and improve freight efficiency into and away from Fremantle Port.
In seeking community input for the project in early August 2020, the WA government noted that the project is highly complex and positioned in a challenging area. Issues including heritage-listing, ensuring continued connectivity while the new bridge is constructed, and ensuring ease of navigation on the river will impact upon the nature of the project.
“It has been well known for more than a decade that the Fremantle Traffic Bridge needs replacing so we’re excited to reach the stage of community consultation,” Saffioti said at the time.