COMMUTERS will continue to face delays while crossing the Helena River in Helena Valley due to construction delays on the Scott Street bridge upgrade.
Work on the bridge started in March and was initially set to reopen at the end of October but is now due to be completed by January, according to Main Roads.
A Main Roads spokesperson said heavy rains caused damage to the existing bridge abutments during the first stage of construction.
“This exposed some timber sheeting, resulting in a decision to remove the timber sheeting and build new retaining walls to stabilise the abutments while adding on extra construction time, reduces further maintenance in the future,” they said.
While under construction, the bridge has been modified to a one-lane road under an automated traffic management system. Residents have experienced increased congestion and wait times, especially during the morning and afternoon school runs at the nearby Helena Valley primary school.
Shire of Mundaring chief executive officer Jason Whiteaker wants to assure residents the delays are not due to a lack of effort or attention but are due to material shortages, inclement weather, additional project scope and unforeseen conflicts with other services.
“We understand the inconvenience the works are causing our residents and acknowledge the frustration raised around the delays in the contractor, Main Roads WA, meeting the original timeframe estimated for completion,” he said.
The upgrade includes the replacement of the original timber structure of the bridge with steel and concrete in order to allow more access options to the area in the event of bush fires.
But Helena Valley Residents and Ratepayers Association president Rob Rowe, who uses the bridge several times a week, said he thinks the communication on the progress of the upgrade has been pretty poor.
“The main thing is we don’t get any feedback.
“We were told initially six months. If there was going to be any hold up, they should have said straight away. But here we are well into October, and we were notified two weeks ago,” he said.
Mr Rowe said the congestion has annoyed residents, and while no one has approached him directly he has heard a lot of people comment on it.