SENDING the Lloyd Street Bridge design back to the drawing board could add tens of millions of dollars to the project say City of Swan staff ahead of next week’s council meeting to approve a single span model.
Councillors have been presented with three options to move forward.
The first option, and officer’s recommendation, is to endorse the current design which would allow Main Roads to deliver the bridge within the Great Eastern Highway Bypass Interchange project.
However, this option would not address concerns raised by the Helena River Alliance, a coalition of environmental groups, campaigning for a design with a lesser impact on the Helena River and its floodplain.
Option two would see the City write to Main Roads for a longer bridge design over the river while option three would put the decision on hold all together to seek further State and Federal funding.
Staff said option two and three risked delays and additional costs.
“The amount of additional funding required has not been estimated but based on advice from MRWA staff it will be tens of millions of dollars,” the report said.
“Redesigning the bridge at this stage poses the risk that the bridge may be removed from the [interchange] project or the State may take control of the asset.”
After consultation with the Traditional Land Owners, the original design was changed from a pier design to the current single span design.
While the project has all necessary environmental and heritage approvals, a December 2020 Aboriginal Heritage Survey report addendum revealed Traditional Owners opposed the project in either form, as reported in Future of Lloyd Street Bridge in limbo (Echo News, December 2021).
“[The Whadjuk Native Title Claim (NTC) group] believe building a bridge at this location is not in keeping with the significance of the site to the Whadjuk people and as such they recommend Main Roads do not proceed with this project and seek other solutions to managing traffic,” the report said.
In response to environmental concerns from community groups MRWA adjusted the current design to reduce the amount of trees to be cleared from 84 to 64, but indicated further reductions were not possible in the current design.
All works at the site halted in December after council voted to stop all clearing of trees and vegetation until council approved a concept design.
By Claire Ottaviano