Freo's View

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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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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FREMANTLE PORT POLITICAL FOOTBALL

 

The news that the Maritime Union of Australia-MUA have pulled out of the Westport Taskforce process, that was established to identify if, where and when a new container port is needed in WA, is as disappointing as it was predictable.

Unfortunately the process has been kidnapped by political and self interest and that makes it near impossible for Westport Taskforce chair Nicole Lockwoood and her team to remain independent.

The very first meeting I went to at the Fremantle Townhall had a commercial expert on the panel who predicted tens of thousands of job if a new port was built at Kwinana. It turned out he is the husband of the Mayor of the Town of Kwinana, so hardly an independent expert.

WA Premier Mark McGowan no doubt can also clearly see the economic benefits for his electorate of Rockingham if an international port is built just down the road from it, and the MUA is really only interested in the short-term retaining of jobs for the wharfies and worried about a largely automated new port at Kwinana, or elsewhere.

While the Labor government has promised to not privatise Fremantle Port it has not made similar promises for a new Kwinana port, and neither have the Liberal opposition.

The environmental impact on Cockburn Sound has not been investigated thoroughly and it is wrong to say that dredging would only happen at the start of the process because future dredging in the sound and Gage Roads will be needed as the size of container vessels grow.

The political argument that the Roe 8 option was excluded and therefor the process is flawed is wrong. The Labor party made the election promise not to build Roe 8, so that was clear from the start. It is also clear that the former Liberal government totally messed up the Perth Freight Link project because it could not find a solution to extend the new freight link all the way to the port, and it stopped at the Swan river.

Traffic congestion in North Fremantle and along Leach Highway are mainly caused by private cars as freight trucks to and from the port account for only 10% of the traffic volume.  The same number of trucks come to Fremantle Port as it did ten years ago, so while container import has increased it has been better handled and not resulted in more truck movements.

The Westport Takforce have stated that port related freight at Kwinana would mainly be road based, so traffic issues at Kwinana and surrounding areas need to be investigated first because it would be unfair to simply shift the traffic problems further south and away from the Fremantle area.

Moving the port from Fremantle to Kwinana would have an enormous impact on the Fremantle economy and while development along the river mouth would no doubt make partly up for that the loss of the working port would be immense and negative for our city.

While I believe the Westport Taskforce process is very thorough it is probably not helpful that they prematurely release findings and everyone jumps on the bandwagon to criticise everything they are doing. Transparency is great but appears to have become a hindrance in allowing the process to continue without political grandstanding.

First and foremost we need to see a very detailed environmental impact report for Cockburn Sound and the impact a new port at Kwinana would have on the local communities there and the traffic issues and solutions.

We should then also get to see a report on how/if Fremantle Port operations can continue and grow for 20-30 years without and increasing negative impact for North Fremantle, Melville and people living along the rail corridor.

A new freight bridge has been promised but what actually will it do to help solve all the issues we are all aware about, and would a tunnel be a better and realistic option?

There are still so many questions and not enough solutions, and it is not helpful that politicians, the MUA, the Town of Kwinana and other self interest groups are now kicking the political football around, that is going to kick a lot of goals but will probably have no winners.

My suggestion to everyone of them is to stay out of the process and allow Nicole Lockwood and her team to do what they get paid for. Once we see the final recommendations we can scrutinise the outcome and the process and accept or criticise it. No matter what the recommendations are, not everyone will be happy with it, but doing nothing is not an option as the future of Fremantle Port is not infinite.

Roel Loopers

HIGH STREET UPGRADE DEMOLITION

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 9, 2019

 

 

It did not take long to demolish the service station, houses and Fern along Fremantle’s High Street to make way for the High Street Upgrade project that will see a new roundabout at Stirling Highway and a widening of the road. It will allow for a smoother journey for freight trucks to and from Fremantle Port.

Roel Loopers

ROAD SAFETY FORUM IN FREMANTLE

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, freight, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on August 23, 2019

 

Road Safety Forum 26 August

 

Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk will be part of a forum on road safety that will be held on Monday August 26 from 6-7.45 pm at the South Fremantle Football Club at Fremantle Oval.

Have your say about what should be done to improve road safety for everyone.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE PORT FREIGHT ON RAIL RECORD

 

The WA State Government has announced that in April this year a record of 23.7 per cent of container freight to Fremantle Port was by rail and more than 20 per cent freight on rail in 2018-19. This equates to taking around 110.000 one-way truck movements off our roads

The substantial 30 per cent increase of freight by rail comes after the McGowan government raised the subsidy when it came into power.

Western Australia has the highest proportion of containers on rail in Australia, so that is a pretty good effort.

Experts believe that 30 per cent container freight on rail is achievable for Fremantle Port operations, but critics believe the noise the additional and longer container trains create in the west of Fremantle is a severe nuisance to local residents, who also complain about strong vibrations.

It is great though to get so many trucks off our roads, but a good balance needs to be achieved to try to keep everyone happy.

Roel Loopers

HIGH STREET UPGRADE IMPACT ON TREES

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on June 21, 2019

 

trees-on-high-street

MAINROADS has supplied the above graph to show how many trees will be saved and which ones will be lost for the Fremantle High Street Upgrade, which is anticipated to make the freight journey to Fremantle Port faster and easier.

Work is due to start in just a few months from now and will take some of the public golf course.

Roel Loopers

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NORTH FREMANTLE COMMUNITY NOT HAPPY WITH GROWING PORT

 

The North Fremantle community is not happy that Fremantle Council is officially supporting a continuation of a working Fremantle Port.

Ann Forma and Gerard MacGill of the North Fremantle Community Association have published a paper scrutinising facts and criticising new plans and the lack of consideration given to the impact a growing container port will have on local residents.

Forma and MacGill question why Fremantle Council have pre-empted the outcome of the Westport Taskforce by stating it wants “To retain and if possible expand this economic activity into the future, the inner harbour should be retained in the long term as an operating port.”

A Port study in 1991 already asked if the port will still be adequate in 30 years, and if not if it could be adapted or should a new port be constructed, and if so, where?

In 2005 Fremantle Ports’ preferred future was an overflow container port on an artificial island at Navel Base, south of Henderson.

The leases for DP World and Patrick’s at North Quay expire at the end of June this year, according to the NFCA report, but the preferred option of Fremantle Ports is to sign new seven-year leases with the stevedores, which would have the option of two future seven-year period extensions, so for a total of 21 years, ending in 2040.

The North Fremantle Community Association  paper states that the North Fremantle community paid a big price over the last 50 years with the ever-increasing port activities, but that the social and environmental impacts have never been properly assessed.

Roel Loopers

The NFCA report in full here:

Fremantle Ports Container Terminal History and Future

HIGH STREET UPGRADE CONCEPT VISUAL

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on August 30, 2018

 

High Street upgrade

Here the latest visual by WA Main Roads of the High Street-Stirling Highway upgrade in Fremantle.

Fremantle Council last night endorsed Main Roads WA’s revised plan for the upgrade of High Street.

The state government last year committed $118 million to upgrade High Street, from Carrington Street to Stirling Highway, to reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety.

A concept plan released by Main Roads in March included a roundabout at the intersection of High Street and Stirling Highway, a wide median to separate traffic and preserve significant trees, and a new service road for residents on the northern side of High Street.

Following extensive community consultation, underpasses under High Street and Stirling Highway were added to the revised plan to improve connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists.

At a special meeting on Wednesday the council endorsed the revised plan and also consented to the excision of land from A Class and C Class reserves along High Street to accommodate the project.

To offset the loss of land from the High Street reserves the council is seeking to exchange it for Main Roads land on Clontarf Hill.

 

Roel Loopers

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