Following bike rider feedback, works will begin today to improve the hazardous Swan Street Bridge underpass on Melbourne's Main Yarra Trail.
The modifications will address some of the issues that emerged for people who ride bikes in the wake of the project to widen the Swan Street Bridge.
Victoria's Major Road Projects Authority announced that they will widen the area next to the bridge retaining wall on the eastern side of the Yarra River as well as change some line markings.
The changes will modify the alignment and marking of the approaches to address the pinch points and sight lines.
Bicycle Network held on-site discussions with VicRoads and the contractors to review the issues that are resulting in a negative experience for riders.
While the work is undertaken on these minor changes, some sections of the eastern Main Yarra Trail will be closed until the end of the month.
The western Main Yarra Trail is now open and has been raised to mitigate the risk of flooding.
Bicycle Network would like to thank everyone who reached out and gave feedback calling for change to the underpass.
Bicycle Network learned that preliminary feasibility investigations have indicated that the best fix for the narrow path under the bridge is to implement a short section of pontoon path, similar to that used further along the river.
Simply widening the existing path with rock and earth is not advised because of the soft, silty riverbed in that location.
However a pontoon floating on the river under the Swan Street span, with a ramp to the bank at both ends, would be a great solution for bikes and people on foot.
This solution clearly can’t be delivered during the remaining days of this project, which is a costly tragedy.
But with an election coming up this year, Bicycle Network, with the help of our members, will ensure that political parties realise the strong feelings bike riders have on this issue.
Weather dampens bridge upgrades
Recent wet weather has delayed work on the paths on the Swan Street Bridge itself.
The south side will be closed until tomorrow and the north side from 20 August to 24 August as some work is completed.