Freo's View

A TROUBLED NEW FREMANTLE BRIDGE

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on August 26, 2020

 

 

 

Unless there is massive community protest against the proposed new Fremantle traffic bridge we will end up with a mediocre bridge in the wrong location, instead of an iconic new gateway to our port city in a more appropriate location, that is more considerate to the residents of North Fremantle. That is the feeling I got on Tuesday evening at the North Fremantle community meeting about it.

Neither Mayor Brad Pettitt, nor Deputy Mayor Andrew Sullivan were confident that Main Roads would listen, because they had already ignored Fremantle Council, with Pettitt saying only community pressure on the state government might be able to have an impact and pause Main Roads from making the wrong decisions.

It was apt that the community was welcomed into the community hall with the song Bridge Over Troubled Waters, because the Main Roads option is wrong, not acceptable, and will kill the cute North Fremantle town centre, that would be strangled by major roads on three sides.

Andrew Sullivan’s presentation was very good, looking at more than just the new bridge, but focusing on what impact it will have on the future of freight and traffic, with a four-lane Port Beach Road and Curtin Avenue and a six-lane Stirling Highway. ‘Main Roads have a dream for a coastal freeway.’

Brad Pettitt said the bridge would be a legacy for over 100 years for a very poor outcome. Main Roads needs to put multiple options on the table!

There is the need for the state government to do a quick strategic planning review because things have changed in the last five years. Press the pause button, so that the community have a say, Sullivan said. When you have options you get better outcomes.

Looking at the plan, which is the only option given to the community, one has to wonder if the Environmental Protection Authority would really approve a bridge that will pass by balconies in North Fremantle by only five metres. It would be a nightmare of noise and dust and diesel fumes for those poor residents.

The ‘option’ Main Roads is going to force down our throats is a terrible proposal of lazy design by a state department that just can’t be bothered to look at better solutions. This is the quick, easy and ugly fix by a government in a hurry to take advantage of the desperate need for jobs and the desire for the Covid Recovery Plan to succeed. That is all good and well intention, but not at the cost of Fremantle. We deserve and demand better than what is being presented as a done deal to us!

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE DEMANDS MORE SAY ON NEW TRAFFIC BRIDGE

 

The Fremantle community and Fremantle Council are not at all happy with Main Roads’ plans for the new traffic bridge. Main Roads announced yesterday that it will start engaging in community consultation, but that appears just to be a token gesture, as the outcome seems to be decided on already.

As I wrote after the DesignFreo bridge forum Main Roads is only interested in moving as many vehicles as possible over the bridge as fast and safe as possible and are not greatly concerned about creating great public realms for the community.

For example they are clear where the bridge will go and that the old traffic bridge will be demolished. They say a significant part of the heritage structure will be saved, but that is spin BS, because only 19 metres of the long bridge will be retained at Beach Street.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent quite recently on stabilising the bridge and protecting it with fenders and rocks in the river, so what is it going to cost to demolish the bridge in comparison to what future maintenance might cost when heavy vehicles not longer create vibration?

What will the impact of the new bridge be for North Fremantle residents in apartments only metres away from it? Or will an ugly, unsightly noise wall be built?

Mayor Brad Pettitt said “Our expectations of this process were that there would be genuine consultation over alignment options with Council wanting Main Roads to propose more than just one.

“Unfortunately the bridge plans released today appears not to meet the Fremantle Council – and I expect, community view – that there be at least two distinctly different alignment options presented in full for community and Council consideration.

“We are concerned that the proposed eastern alignment may result in a poor outcome for North Fremantle residents, for those cycling and walking, for heritage, and for creating an inviting place for people not just cars.”

There will be a meeting at the Naval Stores to start organising protests on Wednesday August 12 at 5.30pm, so if community groups and individuals want to step up please attend the meeting that is organised by Rebecca Clarkson.

 

Roel Loopers

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK FOR FREMANTLE TRAFFIC BRIDGE

 

 

Main Roads is now finally seeking community input about the planned new Fremantle Traffic Bridge, but from the media release, which I partly paste below, it is unfortunately clear that most of the decisions have already been made. I publish some significant points in bold.

The project team is now keen to hear from the community during the next planning phase to achieve the best possible outcome for this exciting piece of infrastructure.

As such, the State Government is launching a community survey and several community meetings that will provide key input into design elements for the project, working within a number of technical and environmental constraints.

Community feedback will help inform heritage interpretation, design objectives, urban design and pedestrian and cycling connectivity.

There are several engineering and operational constraints that mean the general alignment of the new structure needs to situated east of the current traffic bridge. Key factors include:

  • new bridge must be built east of the existing bridge to enable parts of old structure to be retained and traffic to remain open during construction;
  • there is insufficient space to fit a new, modern-standard structure between the existing road and rail bridges;
  • the heritage-listed ferry capstan and current traffic bridge would be impacted by an alignment between the existing road and rail bridges;
  • building west of the existing rail bridge would disrupt freight and passenger rail movements, as well as port operations, during the two-year construction phase;
  • building west of the existing freight bridge would also require relocation of infrastructure such as Western Power’s sub-station.

The State Government is committed to retaining a significant part of the existing Fremantle Traffic Bridge on the southern foreshore. Full retention is not possible due to constraints including:

  • after 80 years of service and costly ongoing repairs, the existing structure is at the end of its life and retention presents a safety risk; and
  • retaining pylons will create further navigational hazards for boat users on this busy part of the Swan River.

To help inform project planning as it enters its next phase, the Community Survey and information sessions will provide valuable grassroots input. Consultation will then be reviewed, with key outcomes reported back to the community.

In addition to community input on the new Fremantle Traffic Bridge, the final concept will be subject to review by the independent State Design Review Panel. Heritage and architectural leads will also form part of the alliance project team that will develop, design and construct the project.

Details on how to provide feedback can be found at http://www.mysaytransport.wa.gov.au including information on an online community survey and community drop in sessions to be held in August and September.

Roel Loopers

RIVERSIDE DRIVE ROAD IMPROVEMENTS

 

 

I walked along Riverside Drive in East Fremantle yesterday afternoon to have a look at the road improvements the Town has made between east Street and the Leeuwin barracks.

There are fewer chikanes and speed humps for motorists, but the work is not completed yet, so they might still be added, because I believe the Town of East Fremantle wanted to reduce the speed limit along that sightseeing stretch of road.

Roel Loopers

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WHO WOULD PAY FOR TWO BRIDGES?

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The-sold out-DesignFreo forum about the new Fremantle traffic bridge this evening will be interesting, even though it looks as if no one from Main Roads will attend.

I am one of many who, for historic and sentimental reasons, would love to see the old wooden bridge retained, but I hear that the state government is keen to demolish it and if they’ll leave anything of the bridge it can’t extend over the Swan River.

It would be a real shame to lose the bridge. I for one would have loved the long jetty at Bathers Bay to also still be there, as it would have been a huge tourist attraction, but sadly not every dream becomes a reality.

Being pragmatic one has to ask if it is the best use of taxpayers’ money to keep the old bridge, just for heritage and sentimental values, because it would be costly to have to maintain two bridges and the City of Fremantle is in no position financially to look after the old timber structure. We are still hoping for the state government to take over the responsibility to repair Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse because Freo City does not have the money for it.

The forum will be filmed and that will be made accessible soon after the event to those who can’t attend due to the Covid-19 restrictions of the Notre Dame University venue.

I’ll report on the forum tomorrow morning.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE BRIDGE DESIGN A GREAT OPPORTUNITY

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, freight, traffic, trains, Uncategorized by freoview on July 3, 2020

 

 

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The Fremantle community and Council are rallying state government to ensure we will have significant input in what the new traffic bridge will look like, its location and that the old traffic bridge, or a part of it, will be saved for community and tourist use.

North Fremantle resident Rebecca Clarkson has been very active and had meetings with Simone McGurk and Josh Wilson and many other people. She is trying to connect the entire Freo community, especially those impacted by the bridge.

Rebecca organised an online petition that has received many hundreds of signatures already, and she has been assured that community consultation by Main Roads will start this month, so stay tuned for updates on that.

Imagine the possibility of a high span bridge where tourists could climb over and  a flying fox down to the foreshore.

I walked over to the old traffic bridge yesterday morning and took these photos.

Roel Loopers

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MASTER PLAN FOR EAST FREMANTLE FORESHORE

 

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At the Ordinary meeting held on 16 June 2020, East Fremantle Council endorsed a new Master Plan for the precinct north of Preston Point Road, overlooking the Swan River, to guide the site’s future development.

The vision includes improvements to facilities for community services, local sports and passive recreation.

The Town thanks everyone who contributed to the Master Plan, made possible through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries CSRF Fund.

Where to from here? The proposed elements will be mapped for monitoring and review, along with seeking funding partners to enable implementation.

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RIVERSIDE UPGRADE IN EAST FREO

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, town of east fremantle, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on March 11, 2020

 

The Town of East Fremantle will be doing road upgrades along Riverside Drive, starting mid March, so be aware that traffic delays might occur.

Residents are advised that this project will upgrade approximately 1.5km of Riverside Road from East Street to the Leeuwin (No 1) Carpark. Works will entail:

  • stabilisation and resurfacing of the road pavement
  • upgrading of the kerbing, plantings and traffic management treatments along the route
  • reclaiming approximately 2000m² of riverside/foreshore land for use as public open space

View a copy of the final plans

  • 2/3 of the project funding has been provided by Main Roads WA (MRWA)
  • New intersection works to improve safety and facilitate improved traffic flows at the intersection of Pier Street
  • Riverside Road will be rezoned to 40kph to create a safer environment for pedestrians, cyclists and road users
  • This project will provide appropriately selected street trees and enhance the riverside landscaping
  • The existing road pavement will be reused via foam bitumen stabilisation, which has a minimum design life of 40-years
  • Foam bitumen stabilisation reuses the existing pavement material, eliminating the need for virgin quarry products and reducing the transportation and haulage of carting new materials
  • Foam bitumen stabilisation has a rapid construction period, and will take approximately 7 days to stabilise the full road.  Additional time will be required for other ancillary works.
  • Riverside Road will remain accessible throughout the construction period
  • Asphalt surfacing will be undertaken using polymer modified asphalt where the polymer is specified as TonerPlas
  • TonerPlas uses recycled toners, soft plastics and recycled glass to create a fatigue resistant road surface.  Paving Riverside Road with TonerPlas will use approximately:
    • 800,000 reclaimed plastic bag equivalents
    • 252,000 glass bottle (stubby) equivalents
    • Unused toner from 1900 printer cartridges
    • 20% reclaimed asphalt pavement

Please direct any enquiries to the Town of East Fremantle via phone (08) 9339 9339 or email admin@eastfremantle.wa.gov.au

Roel Loopers

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SUNSET FOOD TRUCKS BACK AT THE RIVER

Posted in city of fremantle, food, Uncategorized by freoview on January 20, 2020

 

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Food trucks are back under the bridge at the Fremantle East Street jetty this Monday evening from 5pm.

It is a lovely location at the Swan river, where one can enjoy views of the port and the sunset, so go and check it out!

Roel Loopers

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ELIZA SCULPTURE CLIMATE PROTEST

Posted in city of fremantle, climate change, environment, Uncategorized by freoview on December 10, 2019

 

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I do realise that now is not the time to talk about taking action on climate change, or the future of planet earth, but I thought to share this photo with you anyway, that the RED REBELS put on Facebook today, since it is the Eliza sculpture in the Swan river by East Fremantle artist Tony Jones.

While Australia is burning, supposedly intelligent and mature people are denigrating a Swedish schoolgirl, who is passionate about her future and the planet she lives on.

Praying to an imaginary god has replaced leadership in this country.

 

Roel Loopers

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