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Swan needs to lobby for Arthur St bridge money

THE City of Swan says it will have to lobby the state and federal governments for funding for a bridge over Arthur St, which would among other things benefit residents crossing Reid Hwy to access schools.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti is keen for the bridge – estimated to cost $15 million – to be included in the Reid Hwy dual carriageway project due to start early next year.

Ms Saffioti said if it went ahead the Arthur St bridge would improve connectivity, reduce congestion and improve access to shops and services on both sides of Reid Hwy.

“The areas of Caversham and Dayton have struggled with access, and this bridge would create opportunities for quicker bus routes and travel time savings as the population grows,’’ she said.

“We look forward to working closely with the City of Swan to deliver this important addition to their local road project and welcome their financial commitment to the project.”

City of Swan Mayor David Lucas said the project was an important part of the city’s traffic management plans.

“Construction of the Arthur St bridge over the Reid Hwy to connect Caversham and Dayton has recently been raised and a meeting was held with the Transport Minister, where she requested that the city give consideration to contributing to funding 50 per cent of the project,’’ he said.

“It is estimated that the cost of the bridge is around $15m so the city’s contribution to the project would be $7.5m – half the cost.

“There are many benefits of building the bridge. 

“It will assist local residents in crossing Reid Hwy, accessing the schools on either side of highway. 

“It will also provide better access to the Dayton District Open space from Caversham. 

“The bridge will alleviate congestion at Lord St, the only other north south crossing point in the near vicinity. 

“The junction is already under pressure and provides the PTA with a bus route to service the Caversham-Dayton and Brabham communities wishing to travel to either Midland and or Ellenbrook.

“If the bridge is not constructed as part of the [Reid Hwy dual carriageway] project, the cost is likely to increase as a result of an increase in traffic management costs if the bridge is built later as a separate project.  

“This could increase the cost by up to $1.5m and the city will need to lobby both the state and federal governments for the total funds. 

“Until critical issues such as funding can be approved, the project will remain in the planning stages.”

Ms Saffioti said a call for proposals for the design and construction of the $70m Reid Hwy duplication project will open in coming weeks following a recent expression of interest period.

She said the design and construct contract would include a revised scope, including an option to build a new bridge over Reid Hwy, connecting the northern and southern sections of Arthur St.

“The revised project scope follows a decision from the City of Swan to contribute funding towards the bridge project. 

She said the bridge would allow pedestrians to access a proposed new primary school at South Caversham and also provide an additional entry and exit point for emergency vehicles.

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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