After one of the most controversial, protracted, and hard fought campaigns in the history of Melbourne’s bike riding community, the Darebin Bridge is set to open.
From all points of the compass, veterans of the campaign will converge on Alphington to be among the first to ride the magnificent new structure over the Yarra.
The project will officially open to riders at 11:00 AM on Sunday 25 March.
VicRoads is organising a free community BBQ, coffee cart, bike parking and other attractions.
A number of rides to the opening are being organised. See below.
For the first time, the Darebin Creek Trail will link through to the Main Yarra Trail, connecting up two vital bike routes, which in turn connect to other popular trails.
The new bridge over the Yarra, and other new bridges and shared trail along the Darebin Creek, opens up recreational riding and commuting to vastly more people.
The $18M project is Bicycle Network’s longest ever campaign: 24 years.
But every day has been worth it, now that we can see the result.
Many organisations and community groups such as the Community Coalition for Darebin participated in the effort. Government agencies including VicRoads never gave up the struggle, and thanks to VCAT for making the right call on planning permits.
The celebration will be at Sparks Reserve, Ivanhoe, on the Darebin Creek. There is limited on-street parking and you are encouraged to ride, walk or take public transport on the day.
The trail will be open at the Willsmere Park, East Kew, approach when coming from the Main Yarra Trail.
How to get to the Darebin Bridge – group rides
- There is a ride starting at Ashburton Station at 9:30 which many people including the Boroondara BUG will be attending. From the station the route goes along the Anniversary/Outer Circle Trail to the path intersection near where Earl St becomes Asquith St, then proceeds to Kilby Rd, through the underpass to Willsmere Park and the new bridge. See map here.
- There is a ride starting at Valda Ave, Mont Albert North at 09:15 which many members of the Whitehorse Cyclists will be on. Follow the Koonung Trail and take the left fork to pass under Bourke Road bridge, along a lane to Keystone Crescent to the north-east entrance to Hays Paddock. Then regroup at the toilets then out the south-west corner of Hays Paddock to Longstaff and Leason Streets and west along Kilby Road to the bend, through the tunnel under the Eastern Freeway to Yarra Trail junction with Darebin Creek Trail and north to Sparks Reserve. See map here.
- There will be a ride that will start at 10:00 at C.T. Barling Reserve near Plenty Road, Resevior, and flow down the Darebin Trail. See map here.
- There will be a ride starting from the Jika Jika Community Centre in Westgarth at 10:00 which will be attended by Darebin BUG members among others. See the map here.
Please note, the Hurstbridge Train line will not be operating.