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New bridge $90m will feature a pulley system for wheelchairs

Matagarup Bridge
Matagarup Bridge Image credit: dailymail.co.uk

There’s a pretty swish new bridge being built over in Australia and this week builders announced the construction will be accessible for all.

A pulley system will hoist wheelchair users up to the 70-metre viewing platform on the Swan River Bridge which will take pedestrians over the Matagarup Bridge connecting East Perth to the new stadium in Burswood.

Speaking to The West Australian WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said: 'I understand there will be capacity to accommodate a hoist operation that will allow people with disabilities to access the viewing platform at the apex of the two primary arches.

'When the operation of the bridge walk is publicly tendered, I expect a condition will be that the operator must provide disability access to the platform.

However Chief Executive for Tourism Council Evan Hall pointed out devices such as hoists are not always feasible when building new structures.

Hall said: 'We end up having no attractions because there are all these rules that say it's got to be available to everyone, even though everybody doesn't want it and it just makes it commercially unviable or illegal.'

Despite agreeing with the Disability Discrimination Act Hall believes there should be more research to determine if such features should be put in place.

The Act states: 'Discrimination is allowed if premises are existing, and alterations required to make them accessible would impose unjustifiable hardship on the person providing the accessibility.'

The Matagarup Bridge was originally budgeted at $54m – it’s now expected to cost at least $90 million.