The sail-shaped sculpture on the median strip of the Australind Bypass —known as The Pilot — has been removed to make way for traffic lights on the busy road.
The Bunbury City Council is hoping to relocate the structure, created by WA artists Louise Morrison and Matt Dickmann, to the Robertson DriveBussell Highway roundabout and is seeking financial support from Main Roads.
The sculpture was inspired by Bunbury’s identity as the city of Three Waters, with boats, tinnies, yachts, commercial fishing vessels and cargo ships anintegral part ofthe visual landscape.
The Pilot cost the council more than $100,000, but it received mixed reviews from the public when it was unveiled.
City of Bunbury director of works and services Phil Harris said the council would continue to pursue funding sources to reinstall the pilot sculpture, as it was considered to be an important piece of city art.
The council hoped to upgrade the roundabout with landscaping to reflect the concept of Bunbury’s ‘‘Three Waters ’ ’ — t he Indian Ocean, Leschenault Inlet and Koombana Bay.
The council’s garden beds in the median strip have also been removed and will be replaced by a third acceleration lane on the bypass.
The roadworks are part of a State Government investment of $3 million in new traffic lights at the intersection of Australind Bypass and Vittoria Road, to improve safety and ease congestion along the busy stretch of highway.
Main Roads director of South West operations Brett Belstead said the council-owned sculpture had been removed and taken to the Bunbury waste depot.
It would not be returned.
‘‘We had to move it because of the roadworks and there will not be enough room to put it back,’’ Mr Belstead said.
‘‘It is owned by the council and was there on the conditionMain Roads was able to move it if need be.
‘‘The council may decide to put it elsewhere, I think they might be considering the Hay Park roundabout.’’
Mr Belstead said the roadworks were progressing well despite the recent wet weather and were on track to be finished by the March 2013 deadline.