Murray Criddle

Murray Criddle

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Richard Court

Richard Court

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    New Narrows Bridge to open in February

    18/11/2000 2:00 PM
     
    18/11/00

        Perth’s new $49 million Narrows Bridge has officially reached the northern bank of the Swan River.

        Premier Richard Court said it was an historic day for Perth - with this latest stage signalling the opening of the bridge was now only three months away.

        “One of the key features of this duplicate bridge project will be the boost to public transport through dedicated bus lanes that will connect the Perth CBD to the bus transit way now under construction on the Kwinana Freeway,”
        Mr Court said.

        “This project will give thousands of commuters living in the southern suburbs a viable alternative to the private motor vehicle by providing a fast, safe, high-frequency public transport option to and from the Perth CBD.”

        Today represents the culmination of more than 18 months of precision engineering that has seen a total of 24 sections of pre-cast concrete decking slowly ‘pushed’ across the river pylons on special rollers.

        Western Australians will have the chance to take a closer look at such a significant engineering feat with the announcement that a series of `public walks’ will be staged on the bridge in coming weeks.

        Mr Court said the walks would begin on Sunday, December 17. Groups of 20 people would be escorted across the bridge at approximately 15-20 minute intervals.

        People would be able to register for the walks by ringing a designated telephone number which would be advertised shortly.

        The bridge walks follow the popularity of a similar program for the Northbridge Tunnel, which saw tens of thousands of people take the opportunity to walk through prior to its opening.

        Transport Minister Murray Criddle said he believed the community would embrace the new traffic bridge enthusiastically when it opened in February next year.

        “While we will see traffic on the new bridge in February, there will still be work being carried out on the existing bridge and approach roads,” Mr Criddle said.

        “Our aim is to complete the entire project at the end of April 2001.

        “Although the new bridge’s primary objective is to provide a fast and efficient bus service, it will also form the framework for better and safer traffic movements across the river.

        “In the past the Narrows has battled with congestion and crashes as a result of merging and weaving traffic, particularly during peak periods.

        “In total, each bridge will accommodate six lanes, five in each direction for general traffic and one for buses, which will be separated from general traffic by safety barriers.”

        To prepare motorists for a variety of changes associated with the Narrows Bridge duplication, a new public information brochure titled ‘How to use the New Narrows’ has bee produced. The brochure is available from Main Roads.

        Mr Court said the bridge duplication was one of the most significant projects under the State Government’s visionary TransformWA program and all types of users were being catered for.

        “Pedestrians and cyclists using the recreational areas and shared paths on and around the river will also benefit with a shared path on the west side of the new bridge and a new shared-use bridge over the Mill Point Road off-ramp,” he said.

        “Leighton Contractors has developed and implemented a new drainage system south of the Narrows Bridge to ensure that the long-term water quality of the river is protected.

        “Over the coming months the community will see significant changes on and around the Narrows as the approach roads to the new bridge are completed and traffic is switched over to the new bridge.

        “Whether constant or infrequent users of the Narrows Bridge, all road users will benefit from this project with reduced congestion, crashes and driver frustration.”

        Media contacts: Casey Cahill 9222 9475
        Doug Cunningham 9321 7333