Anniversary Trail overpass
$4m trail overpass planned

The awkward, misaligned Toorak Road crossing along the Anniversary Trail in Camberwell will be eliminated by a new elevated structure that takes bikes above the road, alongside the existing rail bridge.

The solution, years in the planning, has been approved by Boroondara Council following years of investigation.

The project is not currently funded, but as it is one of Melbourne’s official strategic cycling corridors, the state government has an obligation to ensure it proceeds.

The bridge would also remove the steep approach to Toorak Road and the need to navigate through a car park on the northern side of the road.

The 30-metre-long structure is proposed to go on the west side of the existing railway line.

Boroondara Council undertook a technical feasibility study of the concept in 2013 and 2014 that included road crossing alternatives as well as options for a bridge on either side.

The preferred outcome of a bridge on the west side importantly met the requirements of all technical stakeholders in the area, namely Yarra Trams, VicRoads, Metro Trains Melbourne, Public Transport Victoria and VicTrack.

But progress stalled when local residents were consulted. Yes, this is Boroondara where locals will object to anything from the pitch of a postie's whistle to the colour of a Galah.

Five locals didn’t want to be overlooked by bike riders, although they are overlooked by people in the train.

Riders on the trail would be noisy, they said, although the existing train is far more noisy.

Property values would suffer because . . . well, because.

The council persisted and undertook further technical investigations and discussion with the community.

It has now adopted the plan and will seek funding from the State Government.

The latest concept incorporates an increased landscape buffer between the Jickell Avenue property boundaries and the existing Anniversary Trail with new landscaping, fencing and trellis.

The council vote was unanimous in favour of the proposal.