Barkers Bridge when the northbound lane closure was temporarily lifted.

West Swan Road bridgework tests drivers’ patience 

Barkers Bridge maintenance has translated to road closures and the recent gridlocked traffic for commuters during peak hour.
June 6, 2024
Mike Peeters

MAIN Roads is currently undertaking essential structural repairs on Barkers Bridge, which connects West Swan Road, Caversham to Meadow Street.

The closures, while essential, have created havoc for drivers, particularly at peak times, when the traffic is regularly gridlocked all the way from West Swan Road and James Street down to Guildford Road.

A Main Roads spokesperson said the works commenced on May 22 and would continue until mid-June.

“Initially, the northbound lane was closed for about two weeks, before the works transferred to the southbound lane, which will be closed for another two weeks,” they said.

“Over the long weekend, the northbound closure was lifted, and the southbound lane will now be closed from Wednesday, June 5 for about two weeks.”

They said a detour was in place via Benara Road, Lord Street and Guildford Road (see detour map right).

Echo News understands the work includes part of the bridge’s timber support structure being replaced with new steel and concrete parts.

Guildford Association president Claire Scanlan said she hoped the traffic disruption through Guildford over the next couple of weeks might not be as bad as over the past two weeks.

“I am hoping the current closure of the southbound lane might cause less chaos than the northbound lane closure,” she said.

Ms Scanlan said the recent bridge closure was a symptom of the increasing and unsustainable traffic congestion suffered in the Guildford area and surrounds since the 1970s.

“Successive state governments have been aware of the problem but little has been done, although our local member Michelle Roberts and the City of Swan have always thrown their support behind possible improvements and changes to the road infrastructure.

“The trouble is the traffic through the Guildford area, particularly in Meadow Street, James Street and around West Swan Road, has increased so much in recent years, largely due to the huge influx of residential estates and housing developments in surrounding areas.

“It is well known we need an alternative route but aside from a road tunnel or sinking the railway line, which are both prohibitively expensive, there seems to be no easy answer.

Main Roads has advertised the bridgeworks, including the above detour map, via letter box drop, website (local road improvements), travel map, social media, and on-site signage.

Updated social media ads by Main Roads continue to keep the public informed, as the works progress.

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