A very early start to do some blogging this morning, but then I could not get on line, so went for a drive through Fremantle and beyond instead to feel the autumn rain.
I am not much of a nature photographer but took this moody shot just before sunrise at Point Walter.
Good news for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians! Mainroads has issued a statement saying that after a final inspection this evening the old Fremantle traffic bridge will reopen tomorrow.
Workers today braced the wooden piles that are holding up the bridge by tying steel ties around them to prevent movement of the piles.
The bridge was suddenly closed on Friday night when erosion was discovered at one of the piers.
There was already a huge traffic jam on Sunday at 1 o’clock at the Fremantle traffic bridges because the old one was suddenly closed on Friday by the Mainroads Department, so one can just imagine the chaos this morning during rush hour and again tonight.
We have to ask why there needed to be an emergency closure of the bridge when workers have been there for nearly a year. Why was it discovered only now that one of the foundation piers has erosion and is damaged to the point that it endangers life? Should the bridges not be checked regularly for that? Water, salt and wind, so erosion surely is something to be expected and is not at all unusual.
It sounds pretty incompetent to me that we have a sudden closure and emergency repairs, because if it is this serious Mainroads has been neglecent in their duties and quite clearly not done regular inspections of the foundations. That is not acceptable when thousands of vehicles and people cross that bridge daily.
The heritage listed restored Fremantle Gunners Cottages Married Quarters at Cantonment Hill were officially unveiled yesterday by Defence Housing Australia, and it is a delight to see the old cottages looking all great again and ready to be occupied by Defence personnel after they were vacant for many years and left to deteriorate badly.
The cottages have all been given names of s0ldiers who served and died in wars, with signs behind the buildings explaining who these soldiers were. The one big disappointment for me is the use of colourbond fences at the pathway steps that show blatant disrespect for the historic significance of the site.
It took a lot of pressure and lobbying from the City of Fremantle, Melissa Parke MP and the Femantle Society to finally get some action from the Defence Department, who have added a few more houses to the ten old cottages which have great views over the harbour and are an easy fifteen-minute-walk to the Freo CBD.
Once the Cantonment Hill masterplan gets implemented the cottages will be at a prime location next to Fremantle’s most stunning park that has sensational ocean and river views and promises to become THE spot to be to watch the sunset.
It is fantastic and long overdue to see significant heritage restoration in Fremantle with the Warders Cottages in Henderson Street also under way and the City of Fremantle ready to spend around $ 2 million on fully restoring the dilapidated Townhall.
The UNDER THE BRIDGE food trucks are at the Fremantle East Street jetty from 5 to 8.30 pm today so check it out. It’s a great day and a lovely way to finish Labour Day, so get out there and support the small local traders.
North Fremantle Community Association convenor Gerry MacGill sent me the information that I copy below, as I believe it will interest people outside North Freo as well.
Some 30 residents were provided with briefings on current projects for the North Fremantle foreshore, from the Traffic Bridge to Rocky Bay, by Councils staff Joanne Smith, Parks Manager; Katrina Sachse, Senior Projects Officer, Landscape and Natural Areas; Adam Kimball, Traffic and Civil Design Coordinator; and Anthony Apps, Landscape Architect.
The presentations were notable for the willingness of the present Council representatives (in contrast to some of the former) to encourage participation by the community in planning and implementation. This opens up opportunities for community participation. The NFCA will work with the Council over the next month or so to develop a structure for cooperation between Council and the community. We welcome expressions of interest from residents who would like to be part of this work.
The current projects are:
North Fremantle Foreshore Management Plan 2013
The plan has many recommendations, many not implemented, which require prioritisation and an implementation program
Riverbank funded North Fremantle Foreshore Vegetation Assessment and Management Project
This plan is currently out to tender by qualified consultants and will involve an extensive community consultation component.
The Department of Parks and Wildlife officers will continue to monitor the works undertaken and assess their effectiveness.
Continuation of the foreshore access path under the Traffic Bridge was recommended by some residents.
Prawn Bay constructed wetland
An engineering report, not yet publicly released, will be important input into a future discussion about the future of Prawn Bay. NFCA has previously expressed the view that most of the large rocks placed there to make the wetland work should be removed an allow the river to establish its natural shoreline.
The park has no particular function or attractions for users. The timber structure and seats serve no purpose. It could function as spillover for Harvey Beach on at very busy times.— not for bathing, but perhaps a paddling pool below the ‘amphitheatre’. A community discussion on this will be invited.
Rocky Bay Heritage Trail
The trail is being redesigned. Public input will be invited into what features and events it should highlight. There is, for example, much more scope to tell the story of the suburb’s industrial history.
There was considerable discussion of fire hazard associated with inappropriate vegetation on the hill. This will be an important part of the Vegetation Assessment and Management Project, but residents believe that hazard reduction is urgently needed now.
The view that dinghy storage and movement is a major contributor to foreshore erosion was seriously contested. Boatwash was cited as the major cause. If dinghies have to be stored (as demanded by the Swan River Trust) storage areas should be sensitively located among the vegetation, not as ‘boat park’.
I was surprised that so many people turned up at the East Street jetty for the first Fremantle food trucks between the bridges today. It will be on every Monday from 5-9 pm till the end of March.
There were only three food trucks but it had a very good community atmosphere with people sitting at the Swan River watching the sunset behind the port. Some even had a quick cooling dip and jumped off the jetty.
If it gets busier a few more seats would be nice, but there is a small park on the other side of the road so that can be utilised as well.
Food trucks will be selling yummy international food between the Fremantle bridges at the East Street jetty from today and February 15, 29 and March 14, 28 from 5-9 pm.
Perfect for a stinking hot day like today not to have to cook at home but instead cool down at the river, watch the sunset behind the port, and no washing up either.
Take your love, kids, family, friends for a treat!