APEA said that engineers have raised concerns about the structural integrity of Perth’s Swan River Bridge and whether it has been signed-off by a local engineer.
It has also called for the government to address the whereabouts of the bridge, which was pre-built in Malaysia before the state election. The association said that it understands the bridge is being stored, in pieces, at a warehouse of the government’s Main Roads department, with assembly to start following the election, which takes place this week.
APEA said that it understands the bridge has not been verified as structurally sound by a local engineer. “This raised serious questions about whether the bridge has the structural integrity to carry 14,000 people on event days from the stadium,” said the APEA.
APEA CEO Chris Walton said the community deserved immediate answers, and queried whether the government was keeping West Australians in the dark about the bridge’s safety until after the election. “Our engineers are deeply concerned about this bridge, and we want to know why the government seems so intent to keep it out of the public view,” he said. “Is the Government keeping the safety issues with this bridge a secret until after the election? They need to give the WA community some answers: where is the bridge? Have there been concerns raised as to its structural integrity? And has it received sign-off by a West Australian engineer?
“Our members don’t want to see public safety compromised. This bridge will carry thousands of people at a time across the river – we must know that it’s safe and that the government has done its due diligence by verifying its structural integrity with experts.
“Lack of transparency around engineering in the state is deeply concerning and highlights the desperate need for greater regulation, and the need for a registration scheme for engineers in Western Australia. At the moment anybody can call themselves an engineer in WA, leaving the community exposed to these sorts of public safety risks.”
It was important to know that the necessary precautions and assessments have been made by fully qualified professional engineers, he added.