Freight Tunnel: Innovating like it’s 1955

Readers of my blog won’t be surprised to read the Fremantle Council in NOT supporting this further expense on a tunnel. Here is the press release we just put out:

The current Perth Freight Link (PFL) proposal, with increased federal funding for a tunnel from Stock/Winterfold Road to High Street/Stirling Highway is not supported by the City of Fremantle.

“The current $1.9b outlay for Roe 8 and the Roe 9 tunnel would be for a solution that is incomplete, short-sighted, has strong community opposition and won’t solve Perth’s ongoing freight and traffic issues,” said Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

“Among other issues including severe impacts on local communities in Fremantle, the proposed three kilometre tunnel connecting Roe 8 to Stirling Highway still fails to address the most difficult connection – from Stirling Highway at High Street across the Swan River and into Fremantle Port.

“We’ve become so frustrated by the lack of information from the state government on this critical aspect of the PFL, we’ve been forced to commission engineers to develop scenarios based on a massive new bridge and associated road works between North and East Fremantle; or a very expensive tunnel option underneath Fremantle and the Swan River.

“What that work shows is the extreme impacts this will have on the communities of East and North Fremantle, with the only alternative to overcome those issues being an expensive and complex $1.4 billion tunnel into the port. That would bring the total PFL project cost to almost $3.5 billion.” he said.

Dr Pettitt said the City strongly supports the development of a second harbour further south as a priority, allowing Fremantle port to handle manageable freight volumes into the future. This would be without the need for such a radical spend on transport infrastructure that provides only a short-term solution.

“A second harbour not only provides a long-term solution to the efficient transport of Perth’s freight issues, it does it in a way which has far less impact on people’s everyday lives and the environment – $3.5 billion goes a long way towards such a smart long-term investment in Perth’s future transport needs, both freight and domestic.”

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City of Fremantle Mayor

19 Responses to Freight Tunnel: Innovating like it’s 1955

  1. Lionel says:

    That graphic is just histronics. Why would the junction be any busier than it already is? Building a new road doesn’t increase the truck movements to and from the port.

    • Lionel, the PFL is essential for the Freo Port to double or triple the numbers of containers it can deal with so it fundamentally does enable the increase in truck movements to and from the Port
      cheers, Brad

      • Lionel says:

        They can’t successfully double or triple the number of containers until stage 1, 2 and 3 are built. If they do that prior then we are still better having stage 2 than not having it. Your argument is moot.

      • Lionel
        I would have thought that your argument only makes sense if you think spending $1.9 billion of taxpayer’s money on a partial project is an acceptable outcome. Personally, I would like my taxpayer dollars spent on infrastructure that has a more effective impact (oh and if effective doesn’t enable the doubling or tripling of trucks through Freo).
        cheers,Brad

      • Lionel says:

        It isn’t a partial project, it is a staged project. The speed at which the stages are completed doesn’t alter truck movements.

        The road costs what it costs. There might be better ways that money could be spent but that isn’t what you are saying, you are saying by building this road it will actually make traffic worse. This is simply incorrect.

        I sympathise with you in wishing your tax dollars were spent elsewhere. I feel the same way about my rates. Unfortunately, as you somewhat ironically now see, it isn’t up to us.

      • Staged? What does the third stage look like then? It is not planned or funded and it is entirely unclear to me how it will get across the river and down Tydeman Road to the Port. The most expensive road project in Perth’s history without a planned ending.

      • Lionel says:

        They probably said the same thing about the Kwinana freeway when the first section was first built.

      • They would of if the they were missing the piece of the Freeway connecting into to Perth CBD.

      • Lionel says:

        You do realise that the Kwinana freeway originally just went from South Perth to Kwinana, right? It wasn’t linked to the Mitchell freeway until the 70s.

      • I would contest those facts given the Narrows bridge opened in the 1960s but Mt Henry not until early 1980s at a guess. But the more significant difference is they had a plan to get across the river unlike the PFL which doesn’t yet.

      • Lionel says:

        “The Narrows bridge formed part of the Kwinana Freeway which originally ran for only 2.4 miles (3.9 km). Over the following decades, the freeway system was expanded to the north and south, greatly increasing the volume of traffic using the bridge.”

        The point here is that both of these roads (PFL and Kwinana freeway) were built in multiple stages over decades. The parallels are obvious.

        There is already a bridge across the river that is already used and whilst it would be ideal that as part of the PFL, it is either upgraded, duplicated or mirrored via tunnel, the fact that it is not yet funded or planned is not a good enough reason to object to the entire PFL.

      • Lionel
        I suspect we are stating to go around in circles here but I would be interested in your view on how double or triple the number of trucks would get through North Fremantle to the port?
        cheers, Brad

      • Lionel says:

        I don’t know the answer to that question as it is not something I have experience in. The same goes for you. Fighting the PFL goes beyond your job description and there are lots of other things you could be doing instead to help Fremantle ratepayers.

        We both know this is simply a political issue for yourself, the Greens and Labor. I would hope you would get back to trying to reduce our rates and improve our services (maybe start by fixing a few of the issues the North Freo residents raised last time you popped over the bridge) rather than objecting to billions of dollars being spent in our LGA.

        It is nothing personal Brad, I simply don’t think you should be using your position to air your politics.

      • Lionel
        This goes way beyond politics to good planning to the future of Freo. If I was silent on this important issue I wouldn’t be doing the job I was elected to do and clearly stated I would do each of the three times i was elected. SO we will just have to agree to disagree on this one
        cheers

  2. Tim says:

    What can we do to get the government to see sense it is really frustrating that they just don’t seem to listen to the electorate I am happy to be part of any lobbing body Tim Milsom

  3. Richard Hynes says:

    Obvious prior plan and wearing blinkers. New port in Cockburn Sound with container conveyor to shore will allow 24/7 unloading. So simple and easy to expand in the future. Just another extravagant monument to Premiers ego.

  4. James says:

    Rather than committing to either huge investment, would not a moderate investment in developing an efficient freight pickup / drop off point south of the city with an upgraded freight rail connecting to the port, thus redirecting road traffic, streamlining congestion at the port and reducing the massive environmental impact required to develop a second port.

  5. Elena Mamudoski says:

    Wake up Perth infrastructure planners. You are building new roads that are a nightmare for drivers. Poor flow, poor signage on good roads (and as for the new dead end merging lanes…) All this causes driver stress , confusion and accidents. The new Perth Airport T2 , Elizabeth Quay and that Fremantle mess mentioned are just a few examples.

  6. Steven Secker says:

    Not only are Roe 8/9 short-sighted and transferring the bottle-necks, but they are actually unnecessary. The freight rail link from Kewdale/Forrestfield, which is used regularly, links to both Fremantle and Rockingham, so it already provides for freight to be transferred to both ports according to which one is needed for the goods. Where it would be uneconomical to transfer goods from trucks to trains, the trucks can be driven onto low carriages at Kewdale and taken by rail to either port. Any required upgrade to the train line will cost far less than Roe 8 alone, cause virtually no disruption to the wetlands and to homes earmarked for demolition for the road, and would ease congestion on the very roads we need relieving. At worst this would require widening of the rail bridge to allow a dedicated freight line over the river. It’s a no-brainer! Neither the State nor the Commonwealth government has money available to commit to Roe 8/9. Like many other projects this is a carrot dangled for funding in the future, with full knowledge that when the time comes to produce the money there will be all sorts of excuses for not having it.

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