THE West Australian Government last week unveiled the winning design for the new pedestrian bridge that will provide sports fans with a chance to walk to the new stadium from the city, with construction to start later this year.
Premier Colin Barnett said the $54.12 million steel cable-stay bridge, which will offer a new connection between East Perth and the transformed Burswood Peninsula and stadium, would become a new landmark in Perth.
Mr Barnett said the winning design - similar to a suspension bridge - was highly distinctive and chosen by an expert panel, headed by bridge engineer and former Governor Ken Michael.
"This design will deliver the best outcome for West Australians visiting the stadium precinct. It has clearly delivered on the State's design and construction guidelines. Some people will look at the design and see swans, others will see a Wagyl taking shape or a dolphin - and that's perfect for this river environment," he said.
The Premier said fans walking across the bridge together would enjoy a similar sense of camaraderie as fans in places such as Melbourne when they walked together between the MCG and the city.
"Can you imagine the atmosphere here on match days with thousands of spectators in their scarves and hats, chattering together, all in this very special picturesque setting?" he said.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder said contract negotiations had been finalised between the State Government and the successful tenderers, joint venture York Rizzani De Eccher, to design and construct the bridge.
The bridge will be 65 metres at its highest point and stretch 400 metres from bank to bank, with a steel cable-stay span of 160 metres at its centre. Only two piers will be driven into the river bed to respect the area's heritage and minimise the impact on the river.
"This bridge is integral to our transport plan to move people between the new Perth Stadium on the Burswood Peninsula and East Perth on event and non-event days," Mr Nalder said.
Construction of the footbridge is due to be completed by the end of 2016.