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Notorious bridge flagged for safety upgrades in WA

Unauthorised over-height vehicles have struck the Hay Street Bridge on the Mitchell Freeway nine times in the last five years prompting the Western Australian government to increase the clearance height of the 50-year old fixture.

The state government announced it was seeking expressions of interest to undertake improvement works at the notorious hotspot for trucks in Perth.

The project which will be funded by the State Government, has been budgeted for $6 million and will significantly reduce the risk of vehicle strikes the Western Australian state government said in a statement.

According to the government, the Hay Street Bridge has been beset by impacts from commercial vehicles travelling southbound on the Mitchell Freeway in recent years.

According to government data the bridge has been hit a total of 20 times, with the most recent strike causing safety concerns and traffic disruptions in August 2018.

The bridge was constructed in 1968 and complied with bridge height clearance standards of the day, however, it is now considered a low height clearance structure.

Construction on the site is likely to start in late 2020 subject to the outcome of the expressions of interest process.

It is one of seven projects the State Government has in progress to improve traffic flow and safety on the Kwinana and Mitchell freeways.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said most Perth road users were aware of the significant safety risks and traffic delays caused by over height-vehicles hitting the Hay Street Bridge

"Lane closures are sometimes required to clean up resulting debris and to assess potential bridge damage. This leads to heavy traffic congestion for long periods of time, which causes frustration for all road users," she said.

"The expressions of interest will help Main Roads establish an alliance contract to progress the agency's preliminary plans for improving the bridge clearance, with a view to commence construction later this year," said Saffioti.

"Given the complex nature of these works, as well as the location, there will be substantial impacts for road users and the wider community when works are undertaken."

"Main Roads and its alliance partner will explore all opportunities to minimise these impacts, and will work closely with stakeholders during the development of the design and construction."

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