More planning works cause bridge delay

More planning works cause bridge delay

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More than three years ago former Gosnells mayor Dave Griffith, Member for Riverton Mike Nahan, Member for Southern River Peter Abetz and Senator Eric Abetz campaigned at the proposed site for the Nicholson Road train station. Photograph – Matt Devlin.
More than three years ago former Gosnells mayor Dave Griffith, Member for Riverton Mike Nahan, Member for Southern River Peter Abetz and Senator Eric Abetz campaigned at the proposed site for the Nicholson Road train station. Photograph – Matt Devlin.

Construction on a bridge over Nicholson Road rail line has been delayed by up to six months according to Main Roads.

The project was announced last year with construction slated to begin early this year for a mid-2017 completion.

But this week a Main Roads spokeswoman confirmed the project had been delayed and construction was not expected to start until the third quarter of this year with the new completion date set for the end of 2017.

“This was a result of additional planning works required before a contract could be finalised to consider the future passenger line extension and station, land acquisition requirements and to ensure freight line operations were able to be appropriately managed during construction,” she said.

“A community and stakeholder engagement plan has been developed to update adjacent residents and the wider community, information is expected to be distributed in early May 2016.”

Member for Southern River Peter Abetz said the delay was disappointing but necessary.

“I want to get this thing underway because the sooner it gets done the better. The traffic flow is affected every time a train comes through in peak hour traffic and it just delays everybody for the next 10 to 20 minutes because that’s how long it takes to clear the backlog of traffic,” he said.

“But when you design something and you go through a major $25 million to $30 million project you certainly want to make sure you dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s.

“I can’t say it shouldn’t have taken this long but I am disappointed it’s taken this long.”

He said the bridge needed to be in place before a train station could be constructed in Canning Vale to extend the Thornlie line to the Mandurah line, which he hoped would be constructed in the next five years.

“Hopefully we’ll see some action on it and in the next five years you’ll see a railway station,” he said.

“That would be my ideal but I think to expect it any sooner would be unrealistic.”
Labor candidate for Southern River Terry Healy blamed the State Government for the delay.

“Once again the Liberals have delayed important infrastructure that will help with congestion and make life easier for people of Southern River,” he said.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said no decision has been made on the timing of extending the Thornlie line.