New bus bridge part of exit strategy for CBD
The State Government today announced an exit strategy to get buses out of the city faster, ease congestion on arterial road corridors approaching the CBD and provide extra public transport services for major corridors in the northern suburbs.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder said a $32.1 million bus-only bridge would be built from the James Street bus bridge behind Perth Arena over the Graham Farmer Freeway to Charles Street, helping passengers get through the morning and afternoon peak hours faster, enabling them to arrive at work and home earlier.
The bus bridge will provide travel time savings of up to six minutes across 12 bus routes per week day to about 16,000 bus passengers
"This is a great congestion beater for our city. It's better for motorists and bus users," Mr Nalder said.
The new 110m bridge will connect the Charles and Newcastle streets intersection to the existing James Street bus bridge over the Graham Farmer Freeway, enabling buses from Perth's northern and north-western suburbs to bypass four sets of traffic signals in Northbridge.
It will improve congestion through Fitzgerald Street, south of Vincent Street, which is a primary northern entry to the Perth CBD and Northbridge areas.
"For motorists, it means 1,000 fewer buses on this key road corridor a day, clearing the way for smoother traffic," the Minister said.
Mr Nalder also announced that the Government would introduce more high-frequency bus services on major corridors such as Alexander Drive. These would be similar to Route 950, the highest frequency bus route in Perth where more than 17,000 people travel a day on the service which runs every three to four minutes from Morley and every one to two minutes from the city to The University of Western Australia.
The time saved by buses no longer being stuck in traffic means eight buses can be allocated to other routes on the Transperth system during the peak period, increasing the overall capacity of the network. These buses will be reallocated to high-frequency bus services.
- Main Roads will deliver the project on behalf of the Public Transport Authority
- Construction will start in early 2016, with completion by early 2017
- The Cleaver and Newcastle streets intersection will be modified to allow buses to access Cleaver Street
- Buses will turn into Cleaver Street from Newcastle Street instead of Carr Street
- Each bus takes up the space of 2.5 cars but can carry 60 to 100 passengers. An average car carries 1.2 passengers. By giving priority to buses in some instances, more people can be moved faster on a road shared with general traffic
The project involves construction of a bus-only bridge from the south end of Charles Street (Newcastle Street intersection) over the Graham Farmer Freeway alongside the Charles Street and Mitchell Freeway southbound entrance bridge.
The bridge touches back down to near ground level on the south side of Graham Farmer Freeway. The road then continues on a slightly elevated structure between the Charles Street and Mitchell Freeway southbound entrance structure and Bunning Lake.
This elevated structure slopes down to ground level by the time it meets the current Mitchell Freeway southbound exit on to James Street.
This busway then passes under the existing bridge that carries both the Charles Street and Graham Farmer Freeway entries to the freeway southbound.
At the westernmost end of James Street, immediately next to the Mitchell Freeway southbound exit to Wellington Street, this road connects to the existing James Street bus-only bridge.
This existing bridge runs parallel to the Mitchell Freeway southbound exit on to Wellington Street and curves slightly east as the bridge passes over the Fremantle line to a sloping elevated structure that ultimately touches down behind Perth Arena.
From here, the road travels east to the Perth Busport Milligan Street entrance ramp.
The Mitchell Freeway southbound exit to James Street will be closed. The underpass will now be used exclusively by buses. A new Northbridge freeway exit will depart Mitchell Freeway southbound at the same point. It will run on the western side, parallel to the existing Wellington Street freeway exit. It will connect with Roe Street between the Mitchell Freeway southbound Wellington Street exit bridge and the shared Charles Street and Graham Farmer Freeway and Mitchell Freeway southbound freeway entrance bridge.
The project involves the construction of bus lanes down the middle of Charles Street, extending north from the Newcastle Street intersection to Carr Street. Southbound, the bus lane starts near Cowle Street through to the new bridge.