Peak hour traffic is set to flow across the new section of the Mount Henry Bridge tomorrow morning, marking another milestone in the Southern Suburbs Railway project.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said three new northbound lanes were due to be opened overnight, allowing rail corridor works to begin on the original bridge.
“Freeway traffic using the new lanes will be under a 60kmh speed restriction for the next two to three months while final works are carried out on the approaches and the new rail corridor across the bridge,” Ms MacTiernan said.
The Minister said residents of Perth’s southern suburbs had been very patient in the face of disruptions to freeway traffic.
“This milestone takes us a step closer to easing the flow of cars, and the completion of the Southern Suburbs Railway,” she said.
“The railway will service almost 400,000 people - a quarter of Perth’s population - and each year will take the place of some 9.6million journeys by car.
“This is the equivalent of two to three lanes of freeway traffic.”
Ms MacTiernan said the design and construction techniques used on the new bridge helped minimise the impact on both the local environment and residents.
“The original plan called for extra lanes on both the east and west side of the bridge, but Leighton Contractors developed a design involving the construction of only one bridge on the western side,” she said.
“The revised design delivered benefits to residents, road users, and the environment by reducing construction impacts and traffic disruption.”
A technique called ‘incremental launching’ was used, with concrete sections of the bridge cast on the southern shore, connected together, and then pushed across to the other side of the river.
“This technique eliminated the use of scaffolding and also improved access for users of the river,” Ms MacTiernan said.
She said the revised design also saved the State nearly $17million in construction costs.
The 15m-wide bridge comprises nine spans, is 660m long and, during construction, used 29,000 tonnes of concrete, 2,150 tonnes of reinforcing, 9,000 cubic metres of earthworks, and 172 steel piles.
Once the rail works are completed, the new platform is designed to carry three northbound traffic lanes, an emergency lane, and a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians.
Minister's office: 9213 6400