Sculptural bridge joins stadium and city

Melanie Coram

A dramatic undulating structure has been chosen as the footbridge design to join Perth city and the new stadium.

The design was unveiled by the State Government this morning, revealing a 400m pedestrian bridge surrounded by massive steel curves which resemble - depending on your viewpoint - a dolphin, a serpent or two stylised swans entwined midway across the river.

The steel cable-stay bridge will cost $54.12 million to build with work scheduled to start this year and be finished by the end of next year.

"Some people will look at the design and see swans, others will see a Wagul shape or a dolphin - and that's perfect for this river environment," Premier Colin Barnett said.

The design was chosen by a panel headed by bridge engineer and former WA Governor Ken Michael.

A night view of the planned footbridge between Nelson Ave, East Perth and Burswood. Supplied picture

The bridge will be 65m at its highest point and stretch 400m bank to bank.

Mr Barnett said the bridge would become a new landmark in Perth and that the shared walk across the river to the footy would engender camraderie among fans.

"Can you imagine the atmosphere here on match days with thousands of spectators in their scarves and hats, chattering together, all in this very special picturesque setting?" Mr Barnett said.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said contract negotiations had been finalised between the Government and the successful tenderers, join venture York Rizzani De Eccher, to design and build the bridge.

It will connect to bus stands on Nelson Avenue on event days to move stadium patrons away from East Perth’s residential area. Free shuttle buses will take fans into the CBD, providing access to more than 40,000 existing car bays.

It will also give access for local residents and the community to playgrounds, picnic and barbecue areas plus a network of walking and cycling paths.

The stadium is due to open in time for the 2018 AFL season.