Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
East: Main Yarra Trail
The Main Yarra Trail starts in Templestowe at the Mullum Mullum Creek (Melway 22 B11) and follows Melbourne's best-known waterway all the way to Southbank in the city.
Scaffolding reappears on Trail
2 May 2013. Works on elctrical power infrastructure near the Main Yarra Trail in Burnley are expected to cause disruptions to riders and pedestrians again this week.
The site is located between St Kevin's Boatshed and the Yarra Boulevard exit to the Monash Freeway, Richmond as indicated on the image to the right.
It is possible that works signage will be placed along the pathway causing hazard to path users.
Yarra Council is not authorised to direct the contractors to relocate the signs because VicRoads are responsible for this section of path.
Yarra Council has asked the contractors to re-position the works signage and hopefully they will comply. It is possible that path users will be detoured onto the roadway.
The detour is expected to only be in place until the weekend, however this is not the first time that power contractors have been responsible for scaffolding carelessly appearing on the trail, and removal of the scaffolding could take longer than reported.
Heidelberg to Ivanhoe bicycle link: feedback sought
25 April 2013. Investigations are underway into options for a new commuter cyclist link between Banksia Street, Heidelberg and Bourke Road North, Ivanhoe.
The study will address options ranging from on-road lanes along Lower Heidelberg Road to the sealing of the Main Yarra Trail.
In looking at the corridor between Banksia Street and Bourke Road North, the following potential options have been identified:
1. Seal the existing Main Yarra Trail shared use path
2. On-road bicycle lanes along Lower Heidelberg Road and Burke road North
3. Options for locating on or off-road within The Boulevard corridor
4. Local street routes
An information bulletin has been prepared explaining the purpose of the feasibility study and setting out a range of potential options. You will need to read this before providing your comments as it contains a number of options as well as diagrams and maps. Click here to download the information bulletin.
Bicycle Netqwork has assessed that the best option presented by council is Option 3B, as detailed in the diagram on the right.
Option 3B allows separation between commuter cyclists and walkers by a dedicated sealed path. This option would also benefit further from a dog-free designation to encourage walkers to continue to use the existing unsealed path.
The Main Yarra Trail, which connects Banksia Street and Burke Road North via the Yarra Flats Regional Park, is a highly valued and popular recreational trail. The addition of the sealed path would accommodate cyclists, without increasing the risk of conflict with walkers.
Banyule City Council are seeking comments on their’ options. There are two ways of providing your feedback:
- Via a community feedback/comment sheet that you can download, fill out and return to Banyule. Click here.
- Via an online survey form that is automatically submitted to us once you complete it. Click here.
Please provide your feedback by 5pm on 30 April 2013.
Warning on Walmer
15 April 2013. A major construction project in Abbotsford means bike riders will have to share Walmer Street with trucks for the next eight months.
Walmer Street links to the busy Walmer Street Bridge over the Yarra and intersects with Victoria Street.
A shared bike and pedestrian zone, protected by barriers, is being provided by the construction firm Salta.
Signage to alert riders has been installed.
A yellow, less-perilous pontoon
09 April 2013 Parks Victoria has quickly rectified a pontoon join on the Main Yarra Trail at Burnley that was giving riders lip—far too much lip.
A triangular profiled metal plate had been placed across a pontoon join as a temporary measure after the section had began to tilt after they began to rest on the Yarra mud.
But the lip caused by the triangular plate was abrupt enough to send some unsuspecting riders flying, followed by a rapid and uncontrolled descent to the surface.
Even those that stayed upright suffered some wheel and tyre damage.
Rider immediately raised their safety concerns with Bicycle Network which resulted in an immediate visit to the Parks Victoria office nearby, and an inspection of the incident scene.
Happily they were already on top of the issue and were implementing a solution—a covering with the textured yellow board that has also been used to good effect at the close-by dreaded 'Ice Corner' which has caused so many riders to come off during the winter months.
The triangular plate has been a temporary measure to stop the pontoons separating as they beached on the mud flats at low tide.
Parks Victoria staff are to be commended for their responsive efforts and ongoing work.
We took the opportunity to raise the issue of the overgrown vegetation on the rise, just west of the Burnley Harbour section of the path.
Stonnington realign link on southern Yarra Trail
21 February 2013. There has been a big improvement to the Yarra Trail on the south riverbank at Grange Road and Punt Road following completion by The City of Stonnington of stage one of the Yarra River Biodiversity Linkages Project.
The council is now concentrating efforts on the second stage of works, take place along the Yarra River opposite Herring Island (adjacent to Kanteen cafe).
To date, Council has invested more than $1 million to increase habitat connectivity, improve water quality and provide recreational and educational opportunities for the community to interact with Melbourne’s landmark river.
The works will increase community access and in addition to biodiversity improvements, will include pedestrian walkways, realignment and widening of
the cycle path and increased seating.
It will also provide opportunities for people to interact with the natural environment in an urban setting.
The project will integrate biodiversity with facilities for wellbeing and cycling while creating lovely views of the Yarra River. The improvements are anticipated to be completed by mid 2013.
Walmer Street bridge re-opened
9 January 2012. Emergency repairs to the Walmer Street Bridge on the Main Yarra Trail have been completed in record time and bikes have returned to this vital route for now.
Support props have been installed under the cracked section of the bridge approach while engineers investigate the appropriate permanent repair to the bridge. (Further props were installed on 22 January, 2013).
Users will be given prior warning when it is required to close the bridge again when the permanent repair is undertaken.
The City of Boroondara has reported that as the bridge is extensively used by pedestrians and cyclists, it understood its importance to the community, and the bridge engineer and scaffolder acted to get the work completed ahead of schedule.
Great work by the engineers and contractors, assisted by Boroondara's Parks and Gardens and Infrastructure Services staff, and by the timely cooperation from Parks Victoria and City of Yarra staff.
Cracks close Walmer Street Bridge
8 January 2013. The Walmer Street Bridge on the main Yarra Trail has been closed because of cracks in a timber support beam on the bridge approach on the Kew side of the river.
Bridge users noticed the cracks yesterday and reported that the approach structure had subsided noticeably.
The City of Boroondara, which is responsible for the approach bridge, immediately closed it over safety concerns.
The damage is not on the cast iron bridge proper—which was refurbished in 2010-11—but on the laminated wood approach section, thought to be about 30 years old.
The council is planning to install props under the structure as a temporary measure to enable the bridge to be reopened while permanent solutions are worked on.
The bridge is expected to be re-opened to bike traffic in a week or so.
Alternative river crossings are the Gipps Street footbridge, Abbotsford—to the west of Walmer Street, and the Victoria Street bridge, Richmond—to the east of Walmer Street.
Art at Burnley Harbour 2012
28 November 2012. Riders on the Main Yarra Trail can have an encounter with an arts festival this weekend, with exhibitions right on the trail at Burnley Harbour.
Its the 9th year of the outdoor undercover 3-day visual arts festival, which showcases contemporary Australian art fresh from the studios of established and emerging artists.
A cafe will be open and there will be art activity for children.
The Burnley Harbour consists of McConchie Reserve (with children's playground) the former Richmond Bluestone Quarry (now a wetland park), the City Link-Monash freeway reserve, and the Burnley Harbour, managed by Parks Victoria.
The exhibition will be held in the undercover area on the north bank of the Yarra River. The area is accessible by either the pedestrian underpass at the end of Mary Street, or you can take the stairs on the Church Street bridge, and follow the bike path, a few minutes walk.
Banyule seal trouble spot on Main Yarra Trail
6 August 2012. Banyule City has recently sealed the problematic section of Main Yarra Trail near the Plymouth Street entrance in Heidelberg.
Due its steepness and unsealed surface, this section was regularly being washed out during rain events.
This is a good step in the right direction.
Riders consistently complain to us about the unsealed surface of the trail in this area, particularly between manningham and Burke Roads, and we will continue to pursue that the whole trail is sealed in line with the way that Parks Victoria have built and funded the rest of the Main Yarra Trail.
Yarra MYT upgrade section open again
9 August 2012 We are pleased to hear that the Main Yarra Trail, Abbotsford is open again this week. The upgraded path works include approximately 400 m of new concrete path and 400 m of new asphalt path, fencing, retaining walls and new bike friendly drainage infrastructure. The new line marking on the concrete section will need to be re-done, but will not necessitate further closures.
At this stage there is no line-marking along the path adjacent to the farm but this will be resolved in the near future.
If you need any further information or want to send any feedback, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 9205 5724.
Yarra are hard at work improving the Main Yarra Trail, Abbotsford
13 June 2012 City of Yarra are doing a great job, dedicating their efforts to upgrade the MYT through Abbotsford, near Dights Falls and the Collingwood Children’s Farm.
In December 2011, a retaining wall was constructed along the path at the toe of a steep embankment. The purpose of the wall is to stabilise the embankment and to remove a hazardous drop-off at the path edge.
We are pleased to report that those on bicycles will soon also benefit from new path surfacing, drainage improvements and path widening in the vicinity. The path is closed between Dights Falls and Johnston Street to allow for the construction of a 3 metre wide concrete path between Tuner and Johnston Streets.
The works will also include new works to make safe drainage and pits at the edge of the path; and install fencing along sections adjacent to steep drop-offs, near Johnston Street. This section will be opened in late-June or early July 2012.
Council has also recently installed a new retaining wall along the path at the Collingwood Children’s Farm, in preparation for more path widening works in 2012-13.
In the 2012-2013 financial year, Yarra Council has committed to further improve the path between Dights Falls and the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Most improvements will involve widening the asphalt section between Johnston Street and the Farm
Council and its contractors thank all path users for their patience during these important upgrade works. The detours suggested provide the next best and safest alternative during the construction period.
Unauthorised access to construction sites may cause harm to persons, contractor staff and community assets, please respect our workers and keep out of works zones or dismount if requested by workers in controlled zones.
The diversion for the current works is include in the article below.
Main Yarra Trail diverted along Trennery Crescent
30 April 2012 The Main Yarra Trail between Turner Street and Johnston Street at Abbotsford will be closed for reconstruction from Thursday 3 May until late June.
Pedestrians and bike riders will need to detour along Trenerry Crescent from Dight's Falls to St Helliers Street - Melways 2D Refs A2 - D9.
Please contact Mark Donnellan at the City of Yarra on 9205 5724, or email@example.com if you would like further information.
For further information and a printable detour map click here.
View Main Yarra Trail Diversion May-June 2012 in a larger map
Yarra Trail diverted at Dight's Falls
28 November 2011. A section of the Main Yarra Trail between Dights Falls and Turner Street (Abbotsford) is closed for four weeks while an 80 metre retaining wall is formed.
The closure is due to construction works for a residential development at in nearby Trenerry Crescent.
The wall will help stabilise the embankment, enabling Yarra Council to widen the path at this section.
Pedestrians and bike riders are advised to use the detour along Trenerry Crescent, as outlined on this map.
According to the City of Yarra, all efforts will be made to have this section of the path opened on weekends, and at other times when it is safe to do so.
Burnley sees the light
15 November 2011. The long closure of the Main Yarra Trail at Burnley Harbour section, though frustrating, has resulted in improvements to lighting of the trail at the dark freeway overpass.
Parks Victoria, the manager of the trail recognised it was particularly dark at night due to it being sheltered by the freeway from much of the surrounding ambient light.
Therefore during the time of the trail closure for freeway reinforcement, Parks Victoria identified and secured funding for the project, developed a lighting specification and design for the site, and ultimately installed the lights and associated infrastructure.
Transurban, the freeway contractor, contributed to the lighting through in-kind support which helped with installation, equipment and access to the freeway undercroft. The trail closure was an opportune time to carry out the works as a large scissor lift was regularly located across the trail to assist with installation of the infrastructure.
In addition to the trail, floodlights were added to where each of the three climbing walls are located, further enhancing overall visibility at night.
Overall, the project cost up to $90,000 from design through to installation and has 26 lights over a distance of approximately 480 metres of trail.
The lights are set to switch on and off on by a combination of sensors and timers. This effectively means they are activated as it approaches dark so the trail is lit during dark, busy periods. Then at 12:00 midnight, when there are fewer people using the path, every second light switches off. Once it becomes light again the remaining alternate lights switch off. For more information on lighting refer to Lighting of Paths - see the results
The newly lit section of the Yarra Trail is a distinct upgrade for night users and they will appreciate the lighting levels which allow them to see
the path and each other. This is despite the lighting levels on the path, as measured by Bicycle Network Victoria, being lower than recommended between lights. Congratulations to Parks Victoria for this welcome improvement.
Dights Falls construction continuing
27 September 2011 Melbourne Water have advised that construction which started in November 2010 has been heavily impacted by wet weather and major works were suspended in July this year.
Weather permitting Melbourne Water will recommence major construction works in coming weeks. The changed conditions to Capital City Trail (highlighted in their bulletin) will remain in place until construction is complete which is now anticipated to be in autumn 2012.
Although path users going upstream are only marginally affected cyclists heading for Noone or Gray streets are asked to continue to use the Trenerry Crescent detour becuase of safety concerns regarding use of the truck access road.
REFER item below at 26 October 2010 for detour information.
Design start on Banksia link
30 June 2011. The missing section of the Main Yarra Trail in Heidelburg, where the path is blocked by The Greenery Nursery, is now in the planning stages with design expected to begin soon.
The project, budgeted to cost around $1M, will remove one of the major failings of the trail along the picturesque Yarra Flats.
It is expected to provide a stunning new outlook across to Banksia Park.
Riders currently are forced to negotiate a steep narrow sloping track and hairpin bend between the Nursery and the roadway. They then have to cross the very busy driveway into the Nursery.
An additional problem has been the silting of the current trail under the Banksia Street bridge after flooding.
The project will require land acquisition and changes to planning zoning.
The new section will be 300-400 metres in length and three metres wide. It will be constructed with concrete around the nursery with an elevated boardwalk, probably of recycled plastic, under the Banksia Street Bridge.
Melbourne Water will need to approve the detailed design.
Although funding for the planning and design stage is available, funding for the construction phase is yet to be announced.
Abbotsford sewer to constrict trail
19 April 2011. The Capital City Trail near the Walmer Street Bridge will be periodically disrupted over the next six months as Yarra Valley Water replaces a 100 year sewer syphon under the Yarra.
Construction will begin shortly and will involve working on both sides of the Yarra River. The project will take about six months to complete, finishing in late 2011.
The contractor will need to access several existing entry pits that are located in the shared pedestrian / cyclist path on the southern side of the river.
Construction will occur between the hours of 7.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. Some Saturday work may be required on occasions.
The works will disrupt traffic along the shared pedestrian / cyclist path near Walmer Street, as a lane will need to be closed down for entry point access.
A traffic management plan will be in effect to ensure the path remains open at all times throughout the construction period. Construction areas will be fenced off for safety reasons.
The Capital City Trail Bridge crossing the river will remain open, and will be unaffected by our works.
The contractor will have a site compound set up on the northern side of the river, in a public garden area. This compound, when combined with noise from the drilling machine, will disturb the usual peaceful atmosphere in this area.
The contractor will excavate a deep shaft on the southern side of the Yarra River. The sewer syphon will then be drilled from the northern side of the Yarra River. Directional drilling is one of the most environmentally sensitive construction methods available.
A drilling machine will be working there to connect the syphon to the existing sewerage network on the southern side of the river, in Walmer Street.
An existing sewer syphon in Abbotsford that was constructed in 1911 is in poor condition and needs to be replaced. A sewer syphon is a slightly curved pipe that can pass underneath a river and connect to the sewerage network on each side of the river.
The new syphon will pass below the river at a safe level to ensure the river is unaffected by the works, and will reduce the possibility of sewage spills into the environment.
Please refer to this map on this page, which shows the construction route as a red line.
Holiday works and re-openings
7 December 2010. Holiday re-opening of the Main Yarra Trail at Burnley Harbor will restore access for Christmas and New Years recreators.
The Trail will be opened by 4.00pm on December 17th 2010 and remain so until 9.30am Monday 10th January 2011. It will then remain closed with the detour between Barkly Avenue and Mary Street remaining in place until Friday 11th March 2011.
Works are also beginning this week on the northern end of the Chapel St/Church St bridge restoration. The Trail will remain open, but scaffolding will be installed to allow the works to progress without closing the trail, so there may be some delays as these are installed.
No works will be carried out by the project team during peak hours in the morning or evening. Be aware of the project at this point and make sure to report anything that seems untoward to the project team.
Dights Falls disruption expected
26 October 2010. The rebuilding of the weir and fishway at Dights Falls will cause minor disruption and a diversion on the Yarra Trail until the middle of next year.
Work starts next week and there will be significant construction activity and a resultant change in the route of the Trail. (see map)
The Trail remain open throughout however riders and pedestrians will experience some interruptions and short delays during the project’s work hours when traffic controllers will be in place
The existing weir at Dights Falls dates back to 1895 when a timber structure was built to provide water to the Melbourne Flour Milling Company.
The new weir will be similar in shape, location and height to the existing structure and continue an important role controlling water levels in the river.
A new fishway will allow fish to swim past the weir, benefiting 11 species of native migratory fish and unlocking for them vast reaches of the Yarra and its tributaries upstream.
A controlled river diversion will be constructed as part of the works and concrete piles will be driven to underpin the new weir.
A large area of Dights Falls Park will be inaccessible during the project. The area will be landscaped at project completion.
Trail works finished, wrapping up, or extended
24 September 2010. Updates on a number of closures and diversions along the Main Yarra Trail below:
Burnley Harbor diversion
The latest update from the consortium carrying out the Southern Link Upgrade that has had the Main Yarra Trail closed at Burnley Harbor since April, is that the closure will remain in place unil March 2011. This is much longer than originally anticipated, with initial estimates putting the re-opening at late August, with recent conversations suggesting October. Bicycle Network Victoria was informed, but not consulted about the extension of the closure. Click here for more details on the extended closure.
Temporary traffic management and some closures continue as required. Some works will be taking place between Punt Rd and Burnley Harbor between Thursday, 30 September and Tuesday, 5 October which will have traffic management in place.
Walmer Street Bridge
The closure of the Walmer Street bridge will wrap up within the week if weather co-operates.The Bridge will be open from Friday 1 October.
Melbourne Girls College
Work on the Melbourne Girls College facility that was blocking the Trail has progressed sufficiently to have the trail re-open. Works are continuing, so riders should all be aware of possible traffic management plans in place from time to time at the site, but permanent closure is not expected to re-occur. The construction work is for a new facility on school land, which is not yet finished even though the trail is open again.
North of Bridge Road
The rebuilding of the Trail between Bridge Road and Victoria Street is continuing, but will be re-opening during the afternoon of Friday 1 October. Minor works will be continuing even though this part of the trail will be open to ride again, so be aware that workers may periodically be in the area painting lines and installing fencing and signage.
Fantastic plastic along the Yarra
8 September 2010. Recycled plastic has come to the rescue of the crumbling boardwalk on the Yarra Trail past Odyssey House in Lower Plenty.
The new boardwalk, completed in November last year, has replaced a failing timber structure and given the attention to detail and material selection the new boardwalk should last much longer than its predecessor. The steel framework has been sandblasted and treated with a rust inhibitor prior to repainting. Balustrade panels were taken off-site, sandblasted and hot-dip galvanised.
The decking comprises Replas’ Enduroplank, a grooved plank made from recycled plastics. Parks Victoria are very proud of this project and riders will be keen to check it out now with the longer days and warmer weather almost upon us.
Main Yarra Trail Path Works - Closures in Yarra Council [update]
28 July 2010 The Main Yarra Trail remains closed in a number of places in the City of Yarra, for a number of reasons.
- Walmer Street Bridge: the bridge that connects Abbotsford (near Victoria Gardens) to Studley Park is undergoing major repairs and may be closed until mid-September
- Bridge Road (O'Connell Reserve) to Victoria Street for reconstruction - diversions along River Street - for two months
- Downstream of Bridge Road - The path is closed at Melbourne Girls College until mid-August due to building works. The trail is on Melbourne Girls College land and outside the control of Yarra City Council. Further information may be obtained from the school. For further details contact the college itself - Tel 03 9428 8955; email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Downstream of MacRoberston Bridge - the trail is closed due to freeway widening works by the CityLink authority. Diversions are in place through Richmond Streets and Barkly Gardens. Alternately, pedestrians and cyclists can cross to the south bank at Toorak (Grange Road) or Anderson Street use the southbank path
- Future Main Yarra Trail closures within the City of Yarra will include:
• Fairfield Park, near pipe bridge - partial closure for path works during July and August - minimal disruption
• Collingwood Children's Farm to Dight's Falls - partial closures for path works, August - October - minimal disruption
The disruptions are unfortunate and frustrating but in most cases should offer significant improvements to the Main Yarra Trail.
For further specific information about any shared trail works within the City of Yarra, contact Mark Donellan on 9205 5724 or email email@example.com.
Walmer Street Bridge closed for repairs
17 June 2010 Yarra City Council and the City of Boroondara have closed the Main Yarra Trail for approximately eight weeks to perform maintenance on the bridge surface. The $120,000 projects is being jointly funded by the councils.
Commuting riders may be comfortable tackling the local area on road but it will be a challenging period for the thousands of weekend recreational riders who prefer a car free riding environment. We have indicated some alternate routes (refer map below). Unfortunately there is little indication to riders on the path as to what the alternatives are.
Path closures are a part of life and we encourage path managers to follow these diversion strategies.
View Walmer Bridge Closure in a larger map
Yarra Trail detour at Ivanhoe
09 June 2010. The Yarra Trail will be detoured at Ivanhoe for one day next week to enable the removal of a number of trees.
On Tuesday 15 June, Waterways Alliance, on behalf of Melbourne Water will divert the shared path between 9.30am to 3.30pm in the vicinity of the Eaglemont Tennis Club in Bourke Road and Chelsworth Park.
See map for details.
Inner: Monash-CityLink-West Gate Upgrade
4 February 2010 A last minute project to strengthen the outer lane of the M1 freeway will block the main Yarra trail, Melbourne's major bike trail artery, for at least several weeks in March and April. SEE link in right hand column
Richmond Yarra Trail upgrade imminent
1 February 2010. The $1.2M upgrade to the Main Yarra Trail on the Yarra Boulevard in Richmond is about to get underway, requiring a diversion for riders for a three month period.
The project will upgrade about 2.5 kilometres of the trail, which at this location is old, degraded and inadequate for the traffic volumes being carried.
The upgrade is being undertaken by the City of Yarra with funding from the Federal Government's job-boosting economic stimulus package.
The City of Yarra has pledged to protect significant environmental and horticulture assets in the area.
At the time of writing full details of the diversion have not been made available, but it is expected to include a straightforward re-routing along Yarra Boulevard. Riding with children under 12 is permissible on footpaths, and it is expected that footpaths adjacent to the trail will remain open while construction is taking place. Riding families are encouraged to use the footpaths where practical.
Work will be tackled in stages, with construction starting at the Bridge Road end and continuing south to the Hawthorn Railway Bridge.
Dights Falls work alert
[UPDATE: Works complete as of 21 December 2009]
12 November 2009. Between now and Christmas, Melbourne Water is conducting geotechnical investigations into the structural integrity of the Dights Falls weir.
This investigation may occasionally result in delays along the Main Yarra Trail as vehicles will be accessing the work site along the banks of the Yarra via Trennery Crescent. A map of the works area and a public information bulletin can be found here.
Whenever vehicles will be accessing the area, Melbourne Water will have traffic management plans in place, so riders need only be aware that these works are happening. Work is expected to be confined to daylight hours during the week.
Jobs Fund boost for battered boardwalk
29 October 2009. Work will begin immediately on reconstructing the boardwalk on the Main Yarra Trail under the Wallen Road Bridge in Richmond, following the City of Yarra's successful application to the Federal Government's National Bike Paths Program.
The ageing and decaying boardwalk is being pulled up to be replaced with a recycled plastic decking. This work will begin on 4 November and is expected to last five weeks, into early December.
The work on the boardwalk is part of the City of Yarra's reconstruction of the Main Yarra Trail between the Gardiners Creek suspended path under the Monash Freeway, all the way north to Bridge Road. This section of the Main Yarra Trail will definitely benefit from work. The project will deliver a complete renovation of an early part of the trail.
Granted $639,000 from the federal government's Jobs Fund (National Bike Paths Program), the City of Yarra has matched the contribution and will be able to proceed with the balance of this renovation over the course of the next year.
Burnley scaffolding removed
26 October 2009. The scaffolding blocking the Main Yarra Trail at the M1 Burnley exit has been removed. The project that necessitated the scaffolding has not been completed, and because of significant delays, the scaffolding has been removed and the trail rehabilitated.
City of Yarra advises that this project will need to be revisited in the future, as the attempt to complete its goals were unsuccessful. Given that scaffolding may reappear at this location in the future, Bicycle Network Victoria will expect greater clarity in the future about any steps taken to block off that portion of the trail, and calls on all parties to work on minimizing any impact on this major commuter route from any future construction works.
Do they think we don't notice? [updated]
20 October 2009. The mystery scaffolding blocking nearly the entire width of the Main Yarra Trail at the M1 exit at Burnley is still in place despite assurances that it would be removed nine weeks ago.
[The site is now almost back to normal. CitiPower is now believed to be the culprit. Seems that a maintenance project has gone pear-shaped. Still, it would have been good to get some warning or advice from them]
A Bicycle Network Victoria member has recently pointed out that blocking one of Melbourne's major bike commuting routes for nine weeks (so far...) is completely unacceptable. Bicycle Network Victoria agrees with this assessment of the situation.
Leaving this scaffolding up for so long has strained the patience of the thousands of riders that use the Main Yarra Trail every day, and increased the risk of collision and injury.
This not only needs to be fixed; the cause needs to be identified and action taken to prevent a repetition.
Updates on Main Yarra Trail works
9 October 2009. Progress has been made on a number of works projects underway along the Main Yarra Trail over the past couple of months. This week saw a number of updates or milestones reached.
Mystery scaffolding -- amended removal date
The mystery scaffolding impinging on the Main Yarra Trail and the M1/Yarra Boulevard exit in Burnley, is expected to be removed today, 9 October 2009. Originally expected to be removed two weeks ago, the City of Yarra has since found the owner of the offending structure, and asked that it be removed properly by today.
South Yarra rail bridge diversion
The diversion, first discussed in mid-August, has been removed and full access to the Main Yarra Trail has been restored.
Odyssey House boardwalk
The work to upgrade the boardwalk along the Main Yarra Trail in front of Odyssey House in Lower Plenty near Westerfolds Park has been substantially completed, and access restored.
Mystery scaffolding to be pulled down
23 September 2009. Path blocking scaffolding on the Main Yarra Trail at the Yarra Boulevard exit of the M1 freeway in Burnley will be ripped down as the owner of the mystery construction project cannot be found.
The structure appeared several weeks ago but no-one has ever been seen working there. No notification was given or permission from authorities sought.
Such a structure, which squeezes the trail down to a narrow pathway, would not normally be approved.
The curious arrival of this scaffolding has flummoxed council officers who have been unable to identify the owner of the scaffolding or the nature of the project that is taking place.
The City of Yarra plans to pull the scaffolding down and restore this vital commuter route along the Trail. The City has exhausted its efforts to find out who the scaffolding belongs to, and so it will be removed, probably by the end of the week.
Somebody is in for a surprise.
River dredging to even out floating pontoons along the Trail
4 September 2009. Yesterday Parks Victoria began an eight-week dredging project along the Yarra River at two sites, at the entrance to Burnley Harbour, and between Punt Road to Cremorne Bridge. Work is currently progressing in Burnley Harbour and will begin in the river by next week.
The project is designed to remove the extensive silt that is building up and putting pressure on the three floating pontoon bridges along the Main Yarra Trail. This silt, if left to collect over time will cause damage to the bridges and potentially compromise the Trail.
Riders will welcome the dredging with open arms. Once completed, the issues that have been plaguing the pontoons of late, such as the increasing severity of the tilt of the bridges as they come to rest on the riverbed in low tides, will be resolved. The tilt of the pontoons damages the structure and erodes the safety and comfort of the ride along this stretch of the Trail. Not only will the dredging project extend the life of the pontoon bridges, it will improve the day-to-day ride experience.
The Trail will not be closed or inconvenienced during the coming eight weeks.
Update: Yarra Trail diversion in place
31 August 2009. The diversion of the Main Yarra Trail near the South Yarra Rail Bridge is now in effect.
Take care while riding through this area over the next month as the project is underway. The diversion is not of great standard having a steel plate surface and is very narrow. We have raised our concerns with the path manager, Parks Victoria, and asked that this be at minimum surfaced appropriately and widened. You can send your comments to Parks Victoria.
Yarra Trail diversion at Burnley
12 August 2009. Electricity infrastructure work by CityLink will require a one month diversion of the Yarra Trail at Burnley, near the South Yarra Rail Bridge.
A platform will be constructed to allow riders to ride around the blockage on the trail.
A diversion will be in place which will allow riders to ride past on a structural platform.
The job will start in late September and should take one month to complete.
Main Yarra Trail to close for new Boardwalk
10 August 2009. Plans to restore the boardwalk on the river side of Odyssey House at Montpelier Reserve in Lower Plenty will close the Main Yarra Trail for a period of about two months, starting from mid-August.
Parks Victoria has advised riders that a temporary path will be built around the north side of Odyssey House which will meet up again with the Main Yarra Trail on the west side of the facility by using Bonds Road.
The broad route of the temporary path is shown in the following map, as the final alignment of the temporary path has not been revealed.
Parks Victoria advises that the temporary path will be built with rough crushed gravel that may not be ideal for some bikes. Additionally, the proposed 1.8m width falls below the relevant standard.
Bicycle Network Victoria asked that these concerns be rectified by improving the quality of the path surface, and ensuring a width of at least 2.5m. Parks Victoria is proceeding with the original plan, citing the extra cost and the temporary nature of the alternative route.
Riders seeking further information on the closures should contact Parks Victoria.
In a flap about smoothness
7 October 2008. The infamous short, sharp shocks on the Burnley Pontoon are no longer, thanks to Parks Victoria.
The thousands of riders on the Yarra path each day can now cross the Burnley swinging pontoon without jarring their teeth loose following the replacement of the aluminium ramps with smoother varieties.
The approach surfaces have also been replaced with new epoxy coated seven ply sheeting, as have the ramps on the Mary Street to Swan Street exit.
Overhanging vegetation has been removed further west near the rail bridge and we are hopeful of further maintenance and improvements.
Report for Parks Victoria
Where did it start? In June an audit report on the northern Yarra Trail was completed by Bicycle Network Victoria on request from Parks Victoria. The report covers the section from Gardiners Creek Trail at St Kevins’ Boathouse on the Yarra Boulevard, through to Federation Square at Princes Bridge. Although Parks Victoria commissioned the audit the responsibility varies along the Trail to include cities of Melbourne and Yarra, Citylink and Parks Vic.
The Yarra Trail on the north bank of the Yarra River has been developed over the years primarily as a recreational trail with the final linking by pontoon paths on the north bank constructed by Parks Victoria. The Yarra Trail on the north bank now provides a very practical facility for commuting cyclists to access the CBD as well as a popular recreational path at weekends.
Originally the Trail was built to standards appropriate for the needs of recreational users, but now regular commuter cyclists have increased substantially, placing extra demands on the trail. An audit was therefore conducted to review the existing conditions in light of the today’s standards.
The auditing method involved having an experienced cyclist ride the route at different times of the day and systematically photograph and record deficiencies in the path. Prior to the audit rides a number of comments by regular path users were noted for closer inspection in the field. Following the field audit rides an office review of the issues recorded was undertaken using Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice Part 14 – Bicycles, Austroads.
Plans for Action
Parks Vic have started work or, in some cases, continued existing works, to progressively improve the Yarra Trail. Some of the recommended higher cost items will need to be funded and programmed in later budgets. Parks Vic are currently planning the next phase of works along the Yarra Trail. Parks Vic will also liaise with the other parties who are responsible for management of sections of the path.
City of Yarra wants to upgrade the Main Yarra Trail
22 September 08. The City of Yarra has applied to the State Government's Department of Sport and Recreation (SRV) for funds to upgrade the popular main Yarra Trail, between Gardiners Creek and Bridge Road.
This section of the path is now sub standard with a broken surface, poor alignment in many places and inadequate width to cater for the thousands of riders and other path users who enjoy it every day. You can view our letter of support here.
Ranked as the third highest participation activity in Australia, riding a bike may possibly be one of the best sport and recreation investments government can make.
Show your support by writing to the Minister of Sport and Recreation, James Merlino.
In August 2006 SRV funded the upgrade of the path between Gardiners Creek and MacRobertson Bridge (west of the current application site).
Refer below for more details. Bicycle Network Victoria believes the continuing upgrade of the path is warranted, especially by SRV, due to the high numbers of recreational users who are already taking advantage of the path, despite its poor state. The chart illustrates the benefits this investment could build on.
Main Yarra Trail Closure
May 07 Bank stabilisation & restoration works at the end of Crown Street, Richmond will necessitate a temporary closure of the Capital City Shared Trail between Annette's Place Park and Rydges Hotel. To avoid major disruption to peak hour path traffic, closures will be scheduled between 10am-3pm next Wednesday & Thursday (9th & 10th May 2007).
A map and detour signs will direct path users up to River Street and back to the Main Yarra Shared Trail.
For further information you can email Craig McGrath at firstname.lastname@example.org. City of Yarra apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Main Yarra Trail closure between MacRobertson Bridge and Burnley Harbour
26 April 07 Unfortunately there have been some issues with the drilling equipment, and a further day's work is required. The works that were due to finish on Thursday April 26, will now finish on Friday April 27. Transurban are working with Parks Victoria to alter the signage and on-site arrangements (the works will continue to take place outside commuter peak periods).
April 07 Parks Victoria, in conjunction with Transurban and the City of Yarra are to close the Main Yarra Trail for a period of six working days from Wednesday 18th April to Thursday 26th April 2007. The trail will be closed each day between 9.30am and 4.00pm therefore avoiding peak commuter periods.
Wednesday 18th April - closed 9.30am – 4.00pm.
Thursday 19th April - closed 9.30am – 4.00pm.
Friday 20th April - closed 9.30am – 4.00pm.
Saturday 21st April - open all day.
Sunday 22nd April - open all day.
Monday 23rd April - closed 9.30am – 4.00pm.
Tuesday 24th April - closed 9.30am – 4.00pm.
Wednesday 25th April - open all day (public holiday).
Thursday 26th April - closed 9.30am – 4.00pm.
Friday 27th April - closed 9.30am – 4.00pm.
The closure is required for drilling works as part of the Monash-CityLink-West Gate upgrade. Bicycle Network Victoria will continue to work with Transurban and VicRoads to make sure interruptions are kept to a minimum during the road upgrade.
MacRobertson Bridge to St Kevins Boathouse
August 06 The Path is now complete and once again a major route for riders coming or going between Melbourne and the eastern suburbs. A smooth surface and clear delineation ensures this section of path is not only safe for all users but also easier to ride.
July 06 The final coat of asphalt has been laid and linemarking is now complete. Congratulations to the City of Yarra and Sports and Recreation Victoria for funding this project.
May 06 Reconstruction of this section of trail has begun. Two existing poor-quality trails will be replaced by one high-quality trail that is at least 3-metres wide. Cyclists will be diverted onto Yarra Boulevard during the construction period, which is expected to take 10 weeks and will be completed by mid July.
Floating Path Issues: MacRobertson Bridge to Northbank (Parks Victoria)
June 06 Ice Warning.
The floating pontoons can develop a layer of ice in the early morning and some riders have fallen as a result. Please take care, especially on the concrete sections which is where riders report ice. It appears that the anti-slip treatment to the metal joining plates has been successful.
Parks Victoria are still investigating options to improve the slippery and hazardous conditions on cold mornings. Warning signs to alert cyclists of the danger will be installed in the next couple of days .
January 06 Dangerous gaps have been appearing between sections of the floating path and some on ramps. Unfortunately this has resulted in at least one injury this year. Parks Victoria is currently looking at long term options to fix the problem, which occurs during times of low tide. In the interim an additional metal plate has been added to cover the gap on the worst ramp and warning signs have been installed.
Please slow down and take care when riding on the floating pontoon, especially at ramps and bends.
July 05 After a spate of recent accidents on the floating pontoon up stream of the Punt Rd. Parks Victoria is investigating options to improve the safety on the pontoon for all cyclists.
It apears that on very cold mornings ice builds up on the metal joints between the pontoons and the white centre line making it very slippery and hazardous.
Parks Victoria plans on scraping up the current white centre line in the coming week and replacing it with a 'grippier' painted line. Parks Victoria will also be installing signs warning of the hazards.
Please slow down and take care when riding on the floating pontoon.
Mullum Mullum Creek to Westerfolds Park (City of Manningham)
Jan 06 The bridge on the trail near Petty's Orchard has been condemned by engineers as it has significant rust in its understructure. Parks Victoria have secured funding for a replacement which we have been advised should be installed by the end of February.
Jun 04 Access to the Main Yarra Trail has been improved with the construction of a new pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Yarra River in Eltham.
Manningham and Nillumbik councils constructed the bridge which links the Main Yarra Trail with the Diamond Creek Trail at Eltham Lower Park (Melway 21 H11).
Previously cyclists has to use the Fitzsimmons Lane road bridge to access the Main Yarra Trail which offered a low level of service as it was on a steep hill and ran alongside a noisy and busy road.
Westerfolds Park to Burke Rd (City of Banyule)
Jun 05 Banyule Bicycle Users Group carried out an audit of the Yarra Trail in Banyule as are concerned that some sections of the trail are unsafe.
Some of the issues they identified include loose gravel on hill, trail too narrow, overgrown vegetation on trail, blind corners and steps. The BUG made a submission to Council of the problems they identified.
The photo (right) shows a narrow section of trail near Warringal Park which is not wide enough for path users travelling in the opposite direction to comfortably pass.
The underpass beneath the Banksia Rd bridge is particularly unsafe with the combination of a blind corner and an extremely steep slope. Alternatives should be investigated.
Burke Rd to Yarra Bend Park (City of Boroondara)
Dec 05 A new high quality trail has been constructed linking the Main Yarra Trail to the eastern side of the Chandler Highway. The new trail runs along side the Guide Dogs Victoria property. Congratulations to Boroondara BUG who worked with the council in designing the new section of trail. Unfortunately though, users of the main yarra Trail still have to negotiate a steep staiarcase to the west of the Chandler Highway in Yarra Bend Park (see below). The section of trail between Willow Grove and Belford Road have also been greatly improved.
Feb 05 Signage and linemarking on sections of the Main Yarra Trail has improved navigation, especially at the intersection with the Koonung Trail. Previously people often missed the turn over the bridge to continue along the Yarra Trail and found themselves using the Koonung Trail instead.
Yarra Bend Park (Parks Victoria)
Jun 06 The design process is well underway for a new the alignment of the trail that will by-pass the existing steps and dangerous windy steep sections of trail. Bicycle Network Victoria is happy with the concept design that has been proposed by the project team. More detailed design works are now being undertaken.
Oct 05 Design funding announced. After Bicycle Network Victoria members wrote over 500 letters earlier this year, Minister Thwaites has announced a new fund for the Metropolitan Trail Network (MTN). Funding for the MTN now meets the state government’s 2002 election promise; however more money will be needed to fund critical projects.
The new fund will provide $25,000 towards the design of a new alignment of the Main Yarra Trail in Yarra Bend Park, as an alternative to steps to the west of the Chandler Highway.While the funding of the design is a commendable step, current government funding will not be able to build this project in the near future. A commitment of significant additional funding will be required within the next year. We believe that increasing the Metropolitan Trail Network annual funding to five million dollars could deliver this and other important projects on the trail network.
May 05 Bicycle Network Victoria met on site with Boroondara BUG and Parks Victoria to see how the steps at Chandler Hwy can be eliminated and the connection to the pipe bridge over the Yarra River be improved.
It was agreed at the site meeting that a gentler sloped ramps should be installed that comes out at the Boulevard further up the hill. The existing temporary ramp is a former goat track which does not follow the best alignment.
Formalising and sealing an existing dirt track leading from the Boulevard down to the pipeline bridge would eliminate the climb to the top of the hill and the switchback path down to the pipe bridge.
The park is managed by Parks Victoria on behalf of the Yarra Bend Park Trust. Park rangers have prepared a brief for the design of works from Chandler Hwy to the pipeline bridge.
For more see Boroondara BUG website.
Bicycle Network Victoria also suggested line marking to help people follow the Main Yarra Trail through Yarra Bend Park.
Yarra Bend Park to MacRobertson Bridge (City of Yarra)
In 2003 Bicycle Network Victoria participated in a trail audit to identify problem spots and sections which require upgrading. A high priority is addressing the issue of the staircase at Gipps St, which prevents sections of the community from accessing the trail. See brewery path for more.
Jan 06 The City of Yarra is about to complete the design of an upgrade of the the Main Yarra Trail between MacRoberston Bridge and Gardniers Creek Bridge. It is hoped that construction will begin in the next few months and will be finished by the end of June, 2006. One new trail trail that is at least 3 metres wide (with no wooden planks) will replace the current two poor quality trails.
Jun 05 Yarra Council is investigating upgrading the Main Yarra Trail between MacRoberston Bridge and Gardniers Creek Bridge. This section has wooden boardwalks and the existing trail is narrow and in poor condition.
MacRobertson Bridge (Cities of Yarra, Stonnington and VicRoads)
The narrow footpath on the side of MacRobertson Bridge is the only way trail users can cross the river. Signs on either side advise cyclists to dismount and there is inadequate space for 2 people to safely pass on the bridge.
We would like to see investigations take place to see how an improved crossing can be developed.
MacRobertson Bridge to Southbank (City of Stonnington)
In 2003 City of Stonnington marked a centre line along the trail which helps to remind users to keep left and stay on the trail without taking a wrong turn. Unfortunately the line marking runs out before MacRoberston bridge.
When trail users come up from the river bank to the road the trail seems to disappear. A white centre line guiding people to the footpath over the bridge will help eliminate confusion.
The path along the south side of the river in Stonnington is starting to show its age. It was one of the first shared paths built in Melbourne and is narrow in places. As part of the Stonnington Bicycle Strategy being developed in 2005, we would like to see upgrades to this trail included.
Southbank and Northbank in the CBD (City of Melbourne)
For more information on improvements and campaigns see Northbank & Southbank page.
No cars on Salt Creek Bridge
Sep 06 Despite the best efforts of outspoken anti-cycling councillor, Dean Sherriff, The Main Yarra Trail will remain a car free zone. A motion had been put to council for vehicular access over the bridge along the Main Yarra Trail. Banyule Council have voted to keep the bridge closed to vehicles, but only for 12 months. An alternate motion was put to Council requesting that a second bridge (to the east of the existing one) be built to realign the Main Yarra Trail and then allow the Tennis Club members to drive over the existing bridge. It was also revealed at last night's council meeting that the St Johns church is possibly looking to develop the tennis court land in the future, with vehicle access across the bridge being their preferred option.
Bicycle Network Victoria is strongly opposed to sacrificing riders' and pedestrians' safety, especially when there is already ample access from their existing carpark or by simply walking 50 metres from the north, across the bridge. We also do not believe that path users' needs should be swept aside for potential future development.
Off road path could be used by cars
Aug 06 Cyclists and pedestrians could be forced to share the Salt Creek Bridge with cars if a current application to Banyule Council is successful. The nearby Tennis Club has applied to Banyule City Council to allow a small number of members to drive over the 3 metre wide bridge from the north side, despite already having a large carpark next to the clubhouse and another carpark on the north side of Salt Creek a short walk away. Bicycle Network Victoria has written to Banyule City Council expressing our concern that users of the Main Yarra Trail will be placed in danger and asked that they reject this application. See the letter to Council for more.