The Causeway across the Swan River is the main entrance to Perth’s CBD from the eastern suburbs. As well as being packed with cars trucks and buses it currently carries an estimated 1,900 pedestrians and 1,400 cyclists each day.
On Wednesday 26th August WA State Government Planning Minister Rita Saffioti announced a new $50 million bridge specifically designed for cycling and walking.
“There’ll be two bridges, one from Victoria Park over to Heirisson Island and Heirisson Island over to Point Fraser on the city side,” she said.
Ms Saffioti said a final design and name for the bridge was yet to be decided.
The project is expected to go out for tender in 2021, pending environmental approvals.
The bridge forms part of several major capital works projects being expedited by the state government as part of its COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
In a media statement, WA Premier Mark McGowan said that in addition to the bridge, a further $60 million was bing injected into cycling infrastructure including:
$3 million to deliver the Soldiers Road Shared Path, connecting Mundijong to the rapidly developing Byford Town Centre;
$2 million to design and construct a north-south bicycle route along Bennett Street in East Perth, connecting Riverside Drive to Royal Street;
$2 million to deliver an east-west bicycle route along Moore, Wittenoom and Nile Streets in Perth and East Perth, helping to connect Barrack Street Bridge to Matagarup Bridge;
$1.5 million to deliver path and lighting upgrades along the existing shared path that connects Waterbank Perth to the Matagarup Bridge; and
$1.5 million to improve safety and connectivity around RAC Arena (Perth’s main indoor stadium just north of the CBD), which has been a major problem area of cyclists.
Regarding the Causeway bridge project, Premier McGowan said, “It’s a project that has been talked about for years – we’re going to get on with it and build it. The heritage-listed Causeway bridges continue to serve our community, but we know it’s unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians – this new project will solve that problem once and for all.
“Providing safe, high-quality infrastructure that encourages people to walk and cycle brings many benefits for our community.”
Part of this article was first published in The Age.