Demolition a bridge too far for residents
Terry Tyzack, left, Lisa Baker, Jan Wheare and Roger Tomlins. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Maylands residents fear the demolition of two 100-year-old wooden bridges will destroy the fabric of their suburb.

They say plans to replace the Seventh and Third Avenue bridges with modern, longer, higher and wider bridges is disrespectful to the area's heritage.

They also fear the new bridges will lead to more traffic.

But Main Roads WA says the bridges have reached the end of their design lives and need to be replaced for safety reasons.

Under their plans, the Seventh Avenue bridge will be demolished early this year, with the construction of a new bridge expected to take a year. The Third Avenue bridge will then be demolished and replaced.

Local resident Marnie Richardson said the Seventh Avenue bridge had become a focal point - "even a defining feature" - of Maylands.

"These kinds of things are what make Maylands an interesting place to live," she said. "Once those links to the past are gone they can not be replaced."

Maylands Residents and Ratepayers Association chairman Roger Tomlins said it was disappointing that locals had not been consulted during the design stages of the new project.

"If we had been involved, we would have to incorporate some of the existing bridges in the new ones," he said.

Maylands MP Lisa Baker said residents were concerned that the bridge plans would mean increased traffic, a loss of heritage value and a loss of amenity.

She said the lack of local involvement in the early planning for the bridges meant their heritage value had been lost.

Mr Tomlins said $89,000 would be spent on public art on the new bridge and locals would ensure that it commemorated the old bridge "in some way".

Transport Minister Troy Buswell said he did not believe community consulation was needed to determine the structural design of the new bridges.

"This work was appropriately completed by experienced engineers taking into account the desire to build the new structures on the footprint of the existing timber bridges and adhering to essential safety standards and operational requirements," he said.

The West Australian

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