Kent Street Weir Refurbishment
Kent St Weir was constructed in 1926 across the Canning River, connecting the localities of Wilson and Ferndale in the City of Canning. The weir is designed to maintain an upstream freshwater pool by preventing backflow from the saline water of the Swan Estuary further downstream.
The heritage-listed structure is owned by the Department of Water and operated by the Department of Parks and Wildlife. It is 52 m long, and has undergone a number of reconstructions in its lifetime, with most recent civil works occurring in 1962.
It is highly valued by the local community and forms an integral linkage between Kent Street Weir Park and Canning River Regional Park.
Why does it need fixing?
Kent St Weir is safe for the public to use; however, the reinforced concrete piers are in poor condition and the weir is nearing the end of its structural life.
In addition, the current configuration means that the process of installing and removing the weir boards each year is labour intensive.
There have also been an increasing number of tidal intrusion over the last 10-15 years, in which saline water has flowed over the top of the weir boards and been trapped upstream of the weir.
What is being done?
The Department of Water, in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife and City of Canning, will refurbish the weir in early 2017.
The refurbishment will cost $4.4M (excl. GST) and will take approximately 4 - 6 months.
Aims of the refurbishment
The upgrade will incorporate a new bridge that will provide access for pedestrians, cyclists, and other members of the public.
The refurbishment will also:
- Extend the life of the weir by approximately 50 years
- Ensure safety for users of the weir, and government staff who operate it
- Maintain water quality for the freshwater ecosystems upstream of the weir
- Allow for the installation of a fish ladder
- Upgrade to automated management of the weir boards (or gates).
1. Will I be able to use the bridge during refurbishment?
The Department of Water are liaising with a wide variety of users of the Kent St Weir to ensure minimal disruption to daily activities during the construction phase.
Pedestrian, cyclist and wheelchair access to the bridge will be maintained before, during and after the works. The Department of Water is providing a temporary bridge to provide continued access for the general public during the construction period.
Kayaking and canoeing activities will be impacted during the construction period. It is expected that there may be limited access to the Canning River at Kent St Weir. Alternative locations from which to access the Canning River during the construction period have been examined in conjunction with the local community. You may wish to consider entering and exiting the river at Riverton Jetty Park, Riverton Canoe Launch or Bywater Way (Wilson) downstream of the weir, or at Mason’s Landing and Hester Park upstream of the weir (see map of alternate exit and entry points for kayaks and canoes).
Canoeists and kayakers will be able to proceed up and downstream at Kent St Weir, however will need to carry their water craft approximately 280m around the construction site to do so.
2. Will there be any environmental impacts?
The Department of Water has developed an Environmental Management Plan, which aims to minimise any negative environmental impacts resulting from the works.
The refurbishment will retain the concrete sill, but demolish the above-water elements, and replace them with new piers and a walkway over the existing substructure. As such there will be minimal disturbance to the river bed and water turbidity.
3. Has there been consultation with traditional owners?
Yes. Following consultation with local Aboriginal elders, the Department of Water has received approval to undertake the refurbishment works under Section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, subject to a number of conditions.
4. Will everything return to normal once the works are finished?
Yes. Normal recreational activities at Kent St Weir will resume once the works are completed.
5. What will the new bridge look like?
Further detail on the design of the replacement bridge will be published once the drawings have been finalised.
The new bridge will continue to allow for pedestrian and cyclist use. No vehicle access will be provided.
6. Where is the project up to?
The contract to undertake the works was awarded to Ertech Pty Ltd.
Ertech are finalising the design plans, and will commence works in February 2017. We will keep this website updated with any changes to this schedule.
7. How do I keep informed of what’s happening?
We are currently engaging with local community groups who use the bridge and Canning River, and over the coming weeks will be sending letters to local residents in Wilson, Cannington, Ferndale, Lynwood and Riverton to inform the local community of how the works may impact them during the construction period.
We will be promoting the works through community newspapers and local businesses such as the Canning River Café and the Canning River Eco Education Centre.
We will install signage at both ends of the bridge, and at a number of other locations both up and downstream of the weir, which will detail the upcoming works and alternative access points.
We will also provide regular updates on this webpage. If you would like to keep informed on a regular basis, you can subscribe for email updates by sending a request to email@example.com.
Representatives from the Department of Water and Department of Parks and Wildlife will be available to discuss the works at Kent St Weir on December 10th, between 10am – 12noon. If you cannot attend but would like further information, please contact us by phone or email.