The decrepit Walmer Street Bridge over the Yarra — used by many bikes each day — has received a cash injection from the Federal Government.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has offered $1.5M to the City of Boroondara to assist with the resurrection of the ageing structure which is due to reach the end of its service life in the next decade or so.
Frydenberg says the money will be used to widen the bridge, however engineers have reported that major deficiencies need to be addressed to make the existing bridge safe and secure.
A major issue is the ramp to the bridge on the Kew side of the River, which is in a very poor state and needs to be replaced with a longer ramp with a gentler gradient.
The will require expensive new structures to support the deck.
The span over the river is way too narrow and needs replacing.
The old ramps on the Abbotsford side of the Yarra are to be replaced by the developer of an adjacent property.
The council says the bridge is used by 200 riders a day.
The council has estimated the full cost of improving the bridge at $7 million. State and council funding would be required to complete the upgrade.
The upgrade to the next crossing up the Yarra, the Collins Bridge steps at Gipps Street, has been funded, but work has yet to begin.
Another upgrade to the river environs in this stretch of the Yarra will come when CUB moves its brewery, but nothing is announced on any plans they may have.
“The Walmer Street Bridge plays an important role in the regional bicycle network and when upgraded will offer a safer shared path to both pedestrians and cyclists from the local community and beyond,” Mr Frydenberg said.
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