WA government promise $10 million for new bridge at Collie's Wellington Dam

Pedestrians only: The Wellington Dam bridge will be closed until the 2023-24 financial year while a new one is built. Picture: supplied.
Pedestrians only: The Wellington Dam bridge will be closed until the 2023-24 financial year while a new one is built. Picture: supplied.

The bridge at Collie's Wellington Dam has been closed to vehicle traffic after Water Corporation found "unexpected" increase in deterioration of its substructure.

WA water minister Dave Kelly announced on Monday May 9 a commitment of $10million to build a new bridge and enhance safety measures.

Mr Kelly said a recent engineering assessment recommended the precautionary closure of the 56-year-old bridge to all vehicles.

The bridge has seen an increase in traffic since the mega mural was painted on the dam and completed in February 2021.

"The bridge remains open to pedestrians and traffic management is in place to prevent vehicles accessing the bridge, providing a safe vantage point to view the mural," he said.

The new bridge will be dual lane and will have better separation between the pedestrian path and vehicle access.

"Detailed design and approvals are already under way, with construction expected to begin in 2023 and completed during the 2023-24 financial year," Mr Kelly said.

To try and mitigate a decrease in visitors, Mr Kelly said Water Corporation would be investigating options for temporary reinforcement that might allow the bridge to reopen to passenger vehicles.

"Visitors will still be able to access the Wellington Dam tourist site - access to parking areas and the viewing platform will remain available as normal, and the bridge will remain open for pedestrian access as a safe vantage point to view the mural," he said.

Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns said tourism in Collie was growing at a rapid pace.

"By replacing the bridge, more people will be able to take in the spectacular mural from a safe vantage point, whether as a pedestrian on the bridge walkway or from their seat on a bus or coach," she said.