Historic Indigenous figures inspire $50m Perth bridge


The Western Australian government has released early designs for a $50 million pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the Swan River, stretching from Victoria Park to the city via Heirisson Island, on the Country of the Whadjuk Noongar people.

The initial design, which envisions gigantic boomerang-shaped pylons supporting a gently curved bridge, has been prepared by multidisciplinary firm IPV Delft in consultation with a Whadjuk working group.

It takes inspiration from the stories of two key figures associated with Heirisson Island: Noongar Whadjuk woman Fanny Balbuk, who lived during the early days of the Swan River Colony and is remembered for her resistance to colonial expansion; and Noongar man Yagan, famed for his resistance to British colonial settlement in the early nineteenth century.

The bridge stretches out over more than 650 metres, travelling 250 metres over the river on the Victoria Park side and 140 metres on the city side, with a 270-metre path running through Heirisson Island connecting the two river crossings. The pylons in the Swan River will soar to 35 and 40 metres high.

The Swan river bridge traversing Heirisson Island.

Image:

IPV Delft

WA transport minister Rita Saffioti said the bridge wouldnprovide a safer for people walking and riding, taking pressure of the heritage-listed Causeway bridge to the east.

“The Causeway is one of the busiest connections into central Perth, and the current path has long been recognised as too narrow to accommodate demand from people walking, running and riding,” she said.

“The shared path is uneven and becomes congested causing conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, with more than 1,400 cyclists and 1,900 pedestrians using the path daily.”

The new path will be at least 6 metres wide, with dedicated cycle and pedestrian lanes. Final design and planning will continue for the bridge, with tenders to be released in 2021.



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