Freo's View

FREMANTLE COMMUNITY WANTS NEW BRIDGE INVOLVEMENT

 

A late item about the new Fremantle traffic bridge was added to last night’s Fremantle Council meeting agenda, at the initiative of Mayor Brad Pettitt. This is very important because Freo Council and the community need to be proactive on this, to make sure that we not only get an outstanding new bridge of great creative design, but also that the old heritage-listed bridge will be preserved for the community.

The community wants a significant say in this and at the very early stages of planning, because we don’t want this project delayed by being presented with plans that are finalised and not negotiable. The bridge will be a new entry statement into Fremantle and hence needs to be attractive, maybe even one tourists can climb on to and get ggreat views of Fremantle Port and the Swan River, like the Sydney Harbour Bridge

  1. Welcomes the Federal and State funding commitment of $230m for the Swan River Crossing project, a project that will see major infrastructure delivered that will have an asset life in excess of 100 years;
  2. Adopts the following principles to assist with the City’s analysis and feedback to Government as the project unfolds and develops:
    1. PLANNING–That the StateGovernment provides clarity around how this project supports the long-term strategic planning scenarios for the region and how transport planning is fully integrated within this, and specifically how options will address:
      • the recommendations of the Westport Taskforce in relation to the future of the Inner Harbour of Fremantle Port;
      • land use, traffic, freight and passenger rail planning options for the areas on the north and south of the proposed new crossing;
    2. ALIGNMENT & CONNECTIONS – That the new bridge alignment(s) are optimised in terms of:• long-term planning scenarios;
      • uninterrupted flow / connectivity of the state’s Principle SharedPath (PSP) to Fremantle and North Fremantle Rail Stations. • low-speed cycling and pedestrian connectivity and amenity; • cultural heritage and place-making, in particular, impact onFremantle Traffic Bridge.
    3. DESIGN–That the Swan River Crossing demonstrates excellence in design – delivering infrastructure through a multi-discipline design process that celebrates contemporary bridge design and creates a memorable gateway experience and a place for people.
    4. HERITAGE – That a significant portion of the Fremantle Traffic Bridge is preserved at both ends – especially on the southern end – and adapted in a manner that:• retains pedestrian and cycling functions on its top deck;
      • retains a section over Beach Street, including its abutment andarchitectural embellishments;
      • is activated, connected and generates a destination for peopleon the foreshore;
      • remains an asset of the State Government.

5. CULTURE–That the Aboriginal significance of this rivercrossing/ location is clearly understood, respected and interpreted in the design and deliverables. This could be a major component of the % for Art program associated with this project.

  1. PUBLIC REALM & PLACE – That all public realm either created or modified by this project is safe, attractive, connected and inviting – with the potential to be extended and further connected with future riverside enhancements and developments – specifically, that increased curtilage is created in front of the Naval Stores building on Canning Highway to assist with activating this building and connection to foreshore.
  1. Requests that MRWA commence community engagement as soon as possible, and that this engagement process includes a full and transparent evaluation of design options and bridge alignments that respond to the principles noted above;
  2. Determines a final position on the various aspects of the Swan River Crossing in light of the comments and results that arise during the community engagement process.

Roel Loopers

DON’T DEMOLISH FREMANTLE TRAFFIC BRIDGE!

 

The building of a new Fremantle traffic bridge is likely to be brought forward, in the State Government’s attempt to create jobs by fast forwarding major public works. A new bridge is badly needed, so I welcome the news, however the Fremantle community and Council should have a say in this matter, because we do not want just any ugly modern functional bridge, but something iconic and very Freo.

We also do not want the demolition of the present bridge because it is part of Freo’s heritage. It should be preserved and used, maybe as a dedicated bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, a viewing platform where we can hold events and markets, and make it a tourist destination.

The destruction of the North Fremantle town centre would be absolutely unacceptable, so one very important question is where will the bridge end in North Freo?

I sometimes disagree with the opinion of the Fremantle Society, but I absolutely agree with what Agnieshka Kiera, who was the City of Fremantle’s heritage architect for 25 years, wrote about preserving the old bridge, so I partly copy her well argued opinion piece.

We want extensive community consultation, and not just Main Roads creating a bridge that can accommodate a lot of vehicles fast!

Here is what Agnieshka Kiera wrote:

  • the historic Fremantle bridge has to stay. Not only for the reason of its heritage significance and, being listed on State Heritage, planning and compliance reasons. It should also stay for its greater importance to the city as the strategic urban feature and gateway to Fremantle, as follows:
    • since its construction the bridge has provided the vital pedestrian (and traffic) connection, not only between Fremantle and Perth but equally importantly between Fremantle and North Fremantle historic town centre; 
    • while the main vehicular traffic connection to Perth has been taken over by the Stirling Bridge, the much-reduced traffic using the historic bridge has helped to keep the North Fremantle’s historic centre accessible and to date a viable local hub of commercial and social activity;
    • the bridge acts as an important entry point and gateway to Fremantle: on the approach to Fremantle by the bridge, the closed vista of Cantonment Hill and the Signal Station, the Fremantle Port to the right and Swan River to the left, all the iconic urban features and Fremantle icons, create an exceptional landscape setting, reinforcing the city’s identity as the historic landmark of Western Australia;
    • the proposed bridge could potentially relieve the historic bridge of the vehicular traffic altogether and let it act as the vital pedestrian/cyclist link with Fremantle proper. There are numerous very successful examples around the world of saving the historic bridges from demolition. And while building new bridges to take on the modern essential role of carrying the vehicular traffic, many cities conserved the old bridges utilising them for the ancillary (mainly pedestrian) purposes. The most famous examples include the Burt Bridge in San Francisco, the Brooklyn Bridge on New York’s East River, Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Pot du Gard in France, Chenguyang Inmud and Rain Bridge in China etc. Each of them was replaced by a new bridge while being preserved for new functions. The same could be done in Fremantle, as freeing the Fremantle Bridge from vehicular traffic would facilitate its proper restoration as the pedestrian/cyclist bridge;
    • However, the plan in Brad Pettit’s blog doesn’t show where the new bridge’s roadway goes. Would it go through the North Fremantle old centre? It looks very likely. Would this result in some massive demolitions of the heritage buildings on its way? That would be the death not only to the old bridge but to the North Fremantle historic centre as well. The Fremantle bridge’s traditional role as a gateway and the significant connection between North Fremantle and Fremantle proper via Queen Victoria Street would be destroyed. That is a devastating prospect and should be stopped.

 

Roel Loopers

HIGH STREET UPGRADE PROJECT UPDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2020

 

 

I walked over to have a look at the progress of the High Street Upgrade project in the east of Fremantle yesterday. There is a lot of work going on there currently.

A large area of land has been cleared north of High Street with several houses removed, and also on the eastern side of Stirling Highway.

FERN is gone and so are the derelict houses south of High Street and many trees have been removed along the golf course. A long retaining wall will have to be built from Carrington Street to accommodate the new road.

The project is meant to make life easier for truck drivers who deliver freight to Fremantle Port, with a large raised roundabout allowing them to take the turn from High Street onto Stirling Highway faster and safer.

Roel Loopers

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NEW LAYOUT FOR FREO PUBLIC GOLF COURSE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, local government, sport, Uncategorized by freoview on April 29, 2020

 

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The City of Fremantle has unveiled an updated layout for the revamped Fremantle Public Golf Course.

The course redesign, which is required to make room for the Main Roads WA High Street upgrade, includes three completely new holes, the introduction of a par 5 hole, the replacement of all tees and greens and new bunkering scenarios.

As a result of the extent of the required works, the new course design will also include a renewed irrigation system, new cart paths and renewed course furniture.

The updated layout follows extensive collaboration between the design team from Perth-based landscape architects Aspect Studios, the course operator and local golfers.

The critical goals with the redevelopment are to maintain the 34-par card, take the opportunity to greatly enhance the greens and tees, have minimal impact of the natural landscape and trees, and retain the unique character of the challenging aspects of the narrow fairways.

Project manager Mal Birch said new layout would offer a fun and interesting challenge for golfers, despite it being slightly shorter than the old course.

“The old course was a golfing experience that required accuracy, good club selection and skill over brute force, so the slight reduction in length will in no way diminish that experience,” Mr Birch said.

“Added to this the course now has a genuine par 5 for the first time which will markedly enhance the playing interest, particularly for those many people for whom the course has been a part of their sporting and social lives for many years.

The redesign of the golf course is required to make way for the Main Roads WA upgrade of High Street, which will result in the loss of the existing third and sixth holes.

As part of the High Street project Main Roads will fund a program of accommodation works including the reconfiguration of the golf course and the construction of a replacement club house.

The official opening of the new course with temporary club house facilities is scheduled for May 2021.

A preliminary design for the combined new club house and community facility is expected to be presented to Fremantle Council next month, followed by further community consultation.

The final location and orientation of the new club house may lead to further refinement of the location of the first tee and the practise chipping and putting greens.

Construction of the club house is scheduled to take place between March 2021 and January 2022.

For more information visit the Fremantle Public Golf Course project page on the City of Fremantle website.

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FREMANTLE HIGH STREET UPGRADE PROJECT

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on April 26, 2020

 

High Street Upgrade

 

Here a photo of the High Street Upgrade project that is now well under way. Some of the Tuart trees have been removed but most of them will stay and become part of the new median strip, and Mainroads will also be planting hundreds of new trees in Booyeembara Park and around Fremantle to compensate for the loss of trees.

There is a bit of a bottleneck when one turns right onto Stirling Highway, so be aware that traffic might be a bit slow there at times.

Roel Loopers

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HIGH STREET UPGRADE PROJECT UPDATE

 

The High Street Upgrade project is well under way at the Stirling Highway intersection, where a large roundabout will be constructed to allow safer and faster freight truck transport to Fremantle Port. Below an update about the progress of the work from the WA Mainroads department:

Works underway Works to realign Stirling Highway southbound are nearing completion. Temporarily re-aligning southbound traffic to the east will enable the construction of the new Forrest Street underpass to commence.

Earthworks and clearing in the southern verge of High Street adjacent to the Fremantle Public Golf Course and Royal Fremantle Golf Club is progressing in stages.

Service locating is continuing to prepare for the relocation of utility assets including Western Power, Water Corporation and communications assets in the coming months.

Stirling Highway realignment

After the Easter long weekend the final stages of constructing the temporary lanes, including asphalt will be completed. Traffic will be switched onto the temporary alignment overnight towards the end of next week. Further information regarding traffic changes is overleaf.

Forrest Street underpass

Once traffic is switched to the temporary Stirling Highway southbound lanes, construction of the first third of the Forrest Street underpass will commence.

This will involve sheet piling in the centre of the underpass, then excavating to the west towards Wood Street.

Pedestrian detours are already in place to divert pedestrians and cyclists via Marmion Street while the underpass is under construction.

Wood Street north clearing

Clearing works in the verge between Stirling Highway and Wood Street (North) from Forrest Street to High Street will commence after Easter. This will enable underpass ramps and retaining walls works to commence. Noise wall footing work will also commence in May, while noise wall concrete design and procurement continues.

Traffic management will be in place on Wood Street during clearing and the street will be narrowed in areas immediately adjacent to clearing activities.

South of the Stirling Highway and High Street intersection

Earthworks and clearing is expected to commence later in April as we prepare to commence construction of the southern portion of the Stirling Highway and High Street roundabout

High Street southern verge

Earthworks will continue in the southern verge adjacent to the golf courses to construct the new westbound High Street lanes.

High Street east

Clearing in the southern verge of High Street between the Royal Fremantle Golf Club and Carrington Street is scheduled to commence after Easter. In areas where trees overhang the road, some after-hours clearing will be required.

Roadworks to remove medians along High Street between Carrington Street and Frank Gibson Park will also commence after Easter so traffic can be shifted north, and lane widths reduced to enable construction of the new westbound carriageway.

Traffic changes

Stirling Highway

When the temporary re-alignment of Stirling Highway southbound is complete, traffic will be switched to this temporary deviation after Easter to enable construction of the Forrest Street underpass.

High Street

To construct the new westbound carriageway, High Street lanes near Carrington Street will be re-aligned and reduced in width. From late March, traffic will no longer be permitted to turn right into or from High Street at Wilkinson Street, Chudleigh Street and Onslow Street.

Details regarding the traffic switch will be provided via https://project.mainroads.wa.gov/home/ and emailed to those subscribed to the project.

Roel Loopers

 

 

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NEW FREO PUBLIC GOLF COURSE PLANS

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, local government, sport, Uncategorized by freoview on December 20, 2019

 

191220golfcourseconcept

 

The City of Fremantle has revealed the preferred concept for the reconfiguration of the Fremantle Public Golf Course.

The proposed new nine hole, par 34 layout includes a new opening hole running parallel to Montreal Street from the existing chipping green to existing club house, plus a challenging new par 5 hole, while also retaining the course’s signature finishing hole.

The design utilises most of the existing fairways, although some of the holes have been reversed.

The exact location of tees and greens and the final course length will be determined as part of the detailed design.

“The design team has done a terrific job to come up with a layout that meets all of the council’s criteria on a reduced footprint while minimising the impact on trees,” Mayor Brad Pettitt said.

“Obviously there will be some disruption to the golf course while the reconfiguration works are carried out, but we will continue to work with the operator of the course to make sure this is managed and minimised wherever we can.

The redesign of the golf course is required to make way for the Main Roads WA upgrade of High Street, which will result in the loss of the existing third and sixth holes.

As part of the High Street project Main Roads will fund a program of accommodation works including the reconfiguration of the golf course and the construction of a replacement club house.

The City of Fremantle engaged Perth-based landscape architects Aspect Studios to undertake the project, including specialist golf course designer Richard Chamberlain, landscape architect Stuart Pullyblank and project manager Mal Birch.

Over the past five months the design team has worked with the operator of the golf course to assess a number of design options to refine and agree the preferred concept.

Two public workshops were also held with golf club members to present the various options for input and feedback.

Works have now taken place to provide an interim golf course arrangement utilising the existing club house, with construction of the new course estimated to take place between May and November 2020.

It’s anticipated that from approximately September 2020 until November 2021 the golf course will be open with temporary club house facilities, while the new club house is expected to be completed by December 2021.

The driving range is expected to remain open through the majority ofthe works.

For more information visit the Fremantle Public Golf Course project page on the City of Fremantle website.

 

Roel Loopers

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LOW SPEED HIGH STREET FREIGHT PROJECT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on November 6, 2019

 

 

The High Street Upgrade Project by Mainroads is going extremely slow.  I hear roadworks won’t be starting before February next year, so one has to wonder what is holding it up.

The City of Fremantle demolished the houses and FERN two months ago, so why is this important freight project not a priority for the State Government and a project that has to advance as fast as possible?

The proposed large roundabout at the Stirling Highway and High Street intersection is designed to allow trucks to go faster and to help speed up the freight trip to Fremantle Port, so why there is a five-month pause in the construction of it is questionable.

Roel Loopers

 

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GOOD SOUTH FREMANTLE TRAFFIC CALMING

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on October 2, 2019

 

Thank you to Sean Hefferon, the convenor of the South Fremantle Precinct, who has received following update about the impact of the annoying, but effective, traffic calming speedhumps along South Terrace in South Fremantle:

SOUTH FREMANTLE-SOUTH TERRACE TRAFFIC UPDATE

Early last month the South Fremantle Precinct sought an update from the City of Fremantle on the traffic calming measures installed along South Tce.

Key takeaways include: (1) Average vehicle speeds along South Tce have (not surprisingly) decreased to an average of 36kmh,

NB: Main RoadsWA requires evidence that traffic speed has reduced (and can be sustained) before they will consider applications to install a reduced speed zone.

Based on the data it seems that the CoF will be able to seek permission from MRWA to install a reduced speed zone of 40kmh; (2) Traffic volumes have decreased along South Tce.

That is good news, Sean, and hopefully we can get the controversial speedhumps removed and nave a permanen 40kph zone along that stretch.

Roel Loopers

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FREO HIGH STREET UPGRADE UPDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 16, 2019

 

High 6

 

The Fremantle High Street Upgrade project is one step closer to realisation with all the buildings now demolished and removed.

The Mainroads project hopes to make freigh transport to and from Fremantle Port, faster, safer and smoother, with a new large roundabout planned at the Stirling Highway intersection where many trucks have overturned in the past.

Roel Loopers

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