Perth Busport opens
For those who have set foot in Perth Busport in recent months – and the many thousands who will walk its expansive underground lounge in the coming years – a vivid imagination is required to link the impressive site back to the area it once was.
For more than a century, Perth and Northbridge were separated by numerous railway tracks, the old Perth Markets, the former Perth Entertainment Centre and the former Wellington Street Bus Station. For 43 of those years, Wellington Street Bus Station was the heart that drove millions of passengers on arterial roads in to and out of the CBD.
When it was demolished in February 2014, the Wellington Street Bus Station had outlived both the lifespan and the patronage it had been designed for. There was a new vision, which would not only result in the construction of Perth’s first underground busport , but would literally change the face of the city by re-connecting the thriving Northbridge cultural centre with Perth’s central district.
That vision was realised this month, with the opening of the $219 million Perth Busport on July 17, an essential step in future-proofing the city’s public transport network.
Public Transport Authority Major Projects executive director Ross Hamilton said the top-down construction project involved building the new busport up against the Fremantle Line rail tunnel, while the new Wellington Street Entry had to be constructed only metres from traffic and pedestrians.
“Building such a major infrastructure project in the centre of a bustling city created a number of logistical and safety challenges which required creative solutions,” Mr Hamilton said.
“For example, once the piling was complete, we needed to install the building roof, which required tonnes of concrete.
“The only way to run the concrete trucks required was to complete works at night, because if they were stuck in traffic the concrete would dry out.
“Solving complex conundrums like these couldn’t have occurred without the cooperation of the City Busport Alliance (PTA, Brookfield Multiplex and BG&E), the City of Perth, MRA and numerous other stakeholders.
“It truly was a uniquely collaborative project that will ensure Perth CBD has efficient public transport links for decades to come.”
More than 90,000 cubic metres of soil has been removed from the Perth Busport site.
By 2031, an estimated 200 buses will use the Perth Busport in peak hour, thanks in part to the high-tech Dynamic Stand Management System, which will enable up to 50 per cent more buses to use the facility compared to the Wellington Street Bus Station.