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L-R: Guildford Association president Barbara Dundas, Friends of Woodbridge Bushland member Simon Ashby, John Considine, Lower Helena Association chair Marilena Stimpfl, Bobbi Ilchik and Friends of Woodbridge Bushland chair Lynn Deering.

Lloyd Street Bridge concern

By Claire Ottaviano

A NEWLY formed coalition of environmental and ratepayer groups is pushing for a redesign of the Lloyd Street Bridge for fear current plans would detrimentally impact the Helena River floodplain.

The Lloyd Street extension, from Midland across the Helena River to the Great Eastern Highway Bypass, forms part of the Great Eastern Highway Bypass Interchanges project, currently open for public consultation.

According to Main Roads WA (MRWA), the proposed steel girder bridge’s 57m span was designed to cater for one in 100 year storm events.

While plans state the ‘batter’ design would enhance water flow, eight local groups, including the Blackadder Woodbridge and Helena River catchment groups, Midland Association, Friends of Woodbridge Bushland, Lower Helena Association, Guildford Association and Woodbridge Ratepayers Association, disagree and want to see a pier design implemented over a batter design.

“The fact is there are other options and have some of those other options been considered and discussed?” Friends of Woodbridge Bushland chairwoman Lynn Deering said

“No other bridges of this design are used in the Helena floodplain which shows you it is inappropriate.”

About 100 flooded gums (Eucalyptus rudis) and other tree species will need to be removed to build the bridge but MRWA plans state the bridge embankments would be revegetated and about 30,000 trees planted within 4ha to compensate for the loss.

Guildford Association president Barbara Dundas said current plans did not show the full extent of the design or its environmental impacts.

“[The batter design] has huge implications at times of flood,” Guildford Association president Barbara Dundas said.

“Particularly at times of flood you have water coming down and it meets this blockage in the river.

“The whole concept of blocking rivers is contrary to government policy, it’s inconsistent with City of Swan and government policies that apply elsewhere in WA.

“We are not against the bridge, the concern is the design and the impact on the floodplain.”

The area where the Lloyd Street bridge is being constructed is also a site of cultural significance.

“Consultation with representatives of the Whadjuk Native Title Claim group will be ongoing throughout development, design and construction to ensure areas that are significant to the Whadjuk people are protected,” MRWA plans state.

“Throughout clearing works Whadjuk Noongar representatives will be present on site to monitor the works to observe ground disturbing activities.”

Construction of the Lloyd Street Bridge is expected to start early 2023 and finish later that year.

Public consultation on the design closes October 11.

Find it at www.mysaytransport.wa.gov.au

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2 comments

  1. Main Roads WA is beginning the process to link Lloyd Street across the Helena River (Echo News online) . To this end they recently had an open public consultation which included two shopping centre information events. At those events consultants portrayed the design stage of the project as complete–essentially a done deal.

    The proposed connection across the river is a narrow, single span bridge which earthen piers extending across the river’s flood plain for roughly 200 metres on each side of the river. This functionally places a weir with a small hole in it across the river, potentially backing the river up during high storm events and inhibiting animal movements in one of the few remaining vital corridors connecting the Swan River with the hills east of Guildford.

    Main Roads seems intent upon pushing a 10+ year-old design and scoping study onto the current residents of greater Midland without any real consultation or re-evaluating any of the engineering criteria used for the design assumptions. These include evaluation of increased run-off from major rain events due to either the greater amount of impermeable pavement now in the lower catchment or more intense rain events due to climate change. This seems to me to be very far from a transparent consultation with the community.

    The Helena River has been a major cultural and resource asset to the area since pre-colonial times. It is one of the few intact natural corridors into the Perth Hills and should be recognised as opportunity for environmentally sustainable development beyond its current status a sewer and source for bricks.

  2. I attended the display in Midland Gate and was impressed with the concept of the Great Eastern Bypass. It seemed to address some real problems and to be well thought out. However, I wasn’t aware of the concerns raised in your article, as at the consultation we were told that the bridge was a 57 meter structure but the the massive the infilled ramp were not mentioned or shown; no word either about the huge clearance footprint. Surely the designers can build a bridge without removing so many old trees, and blocking the floodplain. Both just seems senseless and unnecessary. I just hope that all the appropriated due diligence studies are carried out seriously, and that the community feedback is taken into consideration, and not just as a tick the box exercise.

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