The latest plans for the massive North East Link Project confirm that the on again—off again bike trail along the Eastern Freeway from Kew into the city is likely to finally see light of day.
The link is a missing spoke in radial networks that feed riders into the city.
For the first time riders from Kew, Alphington, Ivanhoe, Bulleen and North Balwyn will have the option of a direct link to Collingwood and Clifton Hill, and then to the city.
The NELP plans are still in the formative stages, with many details to be settled upon.
It is expected that there will be a reference designs for this and other bike infrastructure to be included in the project when it goes to tender later this, or early next year. These concepts will be developed into more detailed designs during this time.
And once it goes to tender, the bidders for the project will have the opportunity to further enhance the scope and quality of the designs.
The concept for the trail shows that it begins at the Main Yarra Trail and goes under the Chandler Highway off-ramp along towards the city and then under Yarra Boulvard before going over the Yarra on a new bike bridge before heading towards Roseneath Streeet in Collingwood.
As well as being a much needed route for commuters, the new trail would be a valuable connection to the network of recreational trails, linking the Koornung Trail, the Darebin Creek Trail, the Merri Creek Trail, the Centenary Trail and the Capital City Trail, as well as linking into the Boulevard in Kew.
A version of the Eastern Corridor Trail was initially included in the plans for the East West Link, later dropped. But it was such a compelling idea and was kept alive with a lot of assistance from enthusiastic riders from Boroondara and Whitehorse BUGs.
Two other key initiatives have also emerged in the latest NELP plans.
One is a new link to La Trobe University from the Greensborough Road in the east, via Moorwatha and Chapman Streets, to Macleod Station and then Joynt Street to the University.
Another is a new link from Heidelberg Station to the Main Yarra Trail and to the new shared path along Bulleen Road. This involves a new bridge over the Yarra at the bottom of Yarra Street and a new connection through to the Banksia Street underpass.