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The Spit Bridge

Spit Bridge Future Transport Solutions by Community Innovation

Any proposal to improve the lot of the peninsula transport users is good. This includes the widening of the existing opening-type Spit Bridge, but is the allocated $56m, revised to $75m, for the bridge widening the best value for the money? This particularly is so when there has been an offer to build a high-level non-opening bridge for $57m, the same amount of money.

The intension of this presentation is to promote community innovation, cooperation, and participation, on the principle, "the greater the input and collective brain power, the greater the likelihood of a satisfactory solution" for the future transport needs of Manly Warringah. These plans also have to include for the burden of the through traffic of Mosman and Cremorne, all of which is much more than just the widening of the bridge.

Preference has to be given to the most economic and eco-friendly long-term solution and the integration of al perceived future needs and technologies.

These words and draft concept drawings are one input of ideas from the community as a catalyst to promote other community input of your thoughts and aspirations of all of us affected by the future transport needs of the Northern Beaches, and the traffic burden of Military Road and Ourimbah Road through Mosman.

The democratic principle, then, is for our representatives to take our expressed views and opinions to parliament for execution.

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Elevated bridge and traffic separation elevated roadway

A new high-level bridge over The Spit is accepted by the majority as the most obvious solution to the problems and the bottleneck of The Spit. The next most obvious solution is to simply make the bridge longer an go through to The Spit Hill, thus just be a longer bridge and eliminate the traffic lights as well. __Most important is this provides for complete traffic separation at ground level, and returns the beautiful Spit to the people for parkland, recreation activities, and to its original beauty.

Height of Bridge

The bridge preferably to be at least 30 meters above water level to cater for all but the odd very large yacht. This certainly caters for the largest ferry or commercial vessel ever envisaged to go under the bridge. It would be only the very largest of yachts that would be disadvantaged and these would prefer being at a marina on the seaward side of the bridge.
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Visual Impact of Bridge

Bridges frequently are beheld and considered by most as structures of beauty and displayed as proudly as possible. They are very frequently the subject of painters and other artists. The existing bridge is clearly not as attractive as those of modern design and as the new bridge would be.

If restriction of view is a consideration, the area of view restriction is unlikely to be different due to difference in height from the existing bridge.

The height of the elevated road is well below the height of the existing pine trees completely hiding the road from the west. It is envisaged that more complementing pine trees would be planted on the eastern side to hide the road from the east as well.

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Future Innovation

The high-level bridge and elevated roadway above The Spit through to The Spit Hill separating traffic from people needs to be built immediately. This design provides without change for logical further integrated stages to satisfy future traffic management for Mosman, Manly through to Palm Beach.

The location and physical attributes of The Spit make it ideal as a transport hub and an interchange for ferry, road and underground transport.

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Transport Interchange

At the southern end of The Spit under and adjacent to the traffic separation elevated roadway adjoining the very visible sandstone bluff could be a transport interchange for road, ferry and underground electric transport serving Mosman, the city and beyond. Integrated with the interchange would be a car park to encourage park-and-ride.

Ferry Wharf

The Spit simply by its location is logical for a ferry service, bu as a transport hub and integrated with it, it is a must. A suitable location for the ferry wharf is immediately adjacent to the transport interchange.

The ferry services envisaged would service Manly and directly the Eastern suburbs and the Quay. From the Quay of course all destinations of Sydney Harbour are serviced, even as far as the Olympic Stadium and Parramatta, as well as rail and bus.

Car Parking

At the southern end under the traffic separation elevated roadway, inconspicuously located could be a car parking station. This location is ideally adjacent to and integrated with the underground public transport interchange and the ferry wharf.

This car park would be multi-level and cater for the anticipated much greater attraction The Spit would become, but predominately for cars on the park-and-ride principle to get commuters out of private cars and into public transport. This clearly would greatly diminish the through traffic now on Military Road, and the streets of Mosman and Cremorne. These gridlocked streets would largely return to just local traffic.

A car park is envisaged of at least 500 to preferably 1,000 cars. In applying forward thinking, the majority of levels could be assigned to small economical cars only, at a lesser change than for larger cars that take up greater space and cost and contribute more to greenhouse gas emissions.

Some car parking spaces would be provided with vehicle recharging electric power outlets to encourage use of electric commuter cars and bikes. Think, cars for the Northern Beaches with no noise or pollution.

Electric underground transportation

The sandstone bluff at the southern end of The Spit is ideal for the start of an electric underground transportation system. This system would run generally under the Military Road to serve Mosman and Cremorne whilst connecting these and Manly Warringah to the Sydney-wide transport network.

Electric underground is by far the cleanest, easiest, and most cost-effective to build and maintain. To build motor vehicle tunnels is massively more expensive and highly polluting, as Sydney has learned. In comparison and as statistic prove, they only encourage individual car use as against the inevitable necessarily efficient eco-friendly futuristic electric public transport.

Although the current favorite is light rail, the future is the hybrid versatile diesel/electric bus. Electric power only is used when underground, thus eliminating the need for tunnel ventilation and the associated objectionable ventilation stacks. This technology is already under development in the USA and Europe.

You would still be able to ride on the same vehicle from Palm Beach to the City, even though there would be an inexpensive to construct electrically operated tunnel section under Mosman and Cremorne(?).

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Commercial consideration

People are profit. The economy runs on people and their spending so the inevitable concentration of people as envisaged with the future Spit Transport interchange would undoubtedly attract commercial investment. there is already allocated $56m (now advised to be $75m) in public money to the bridge project. It would not take any more than the current figure of $75m to get the first stage of high-level bridge and elevated road works completed, thus eliminating the present bottleneck and returning the beautiful Spit to the people for fun and recreation. Once this is completed, future works of the Transport interchange undoubtedly would follow naturally by commercial interests and investment without further draw on the public purse.

As it is understood, The Spit is controlled by Mosman Council, thus the Transport Interchange and associated activities could be run for the benefit of the Council and Mosman ratepayers.

The car parking station probably could be built and run by privae enterprise with a percentage of revenue to the government and council at no cost to the public purse. There are several companies across the city that now do this.

The ferry wharf also would be built by private enterprise in return for the wharf building containing commercial return from food and beverage outlets, restaurants, hotel, yacht club or similar activities. That is similar to and expanding the existing activities of The Spit. What an amazing location of an ecologically designed international class boutique hotel in return for providing the ferry wharf and associated facilities.

The tunnel and electric transport are the sort of enterprise that readily attracts private investment of which there are examples all over the world as well as in Australia.

The location of The Spit, one of the most attractive areas of Sydney Harbour, the gateway to the Northern Beaches and its captive transport corridor is a natural commercial story waiting to happen. Al this while providing our complete transport solutions at no additional public cost to the already allocated $75m.

This community innovation future vision for The Spit and the transportation solution to Mosman, Manly and the Peninsular therefore does not need the billion-dollar-plus tap on the public purse as generally quoted. With a gentle but cooperative push in the right direction by government and the associated councils, on top of the allocated $56m to $75m, is the solution waiting to happen. Could there be better value for the money?

It would give great satisfaction to see this community innovation bring speedy satisfaction and conclusion to our transport problem for this little amount of money, not the billion-dollars-plus frequently quoted. It would be like giving a gift of $1b to society and the tax payer.

Your comments and your community innovation input are invited.

Created by Hugh Walker. Last Modification: Thursday 01 of September, 2011 00:33:58 EST by Hugh Walker.