Work has started on converting the heritage Chandler Highway bridge into a new bike and pedestrian crossing of the Yarra River.
Along with the new bridge the project will deliver a number of other long needed upgrades and links.
Especially welcome will be the removal of the steps on the Main Yarra Trail, replaced with a new underpass and ramps.
The works are underway following the construction of a new road bridge over the river. The old bridge, being heritage, had to be kept and was suitable for repurposing into active transport infrastructure.
As well as the path over the historic bridge, the project has added a new northbound on-road bike lane over the new bridge to Heidelberg Road as this is an uphill gradient and bikes are moving slower than motor traffic.
There are also new traffic lights at the Yarra Boulevard and Chandler Highway intersection and there will be on-road head start and hook turn boxes for bikes at intersections.
The old bridge conversion involves restoring the heritage brick and repainting the wrought iron trusses.
The existing protective coating on the steelwork contains lead. Due to corrosion and rust, the project will be removing lead paint at localised areas, to repair the steelwork in preparation for re-painting with modern safe paint.
The heritage bridge works should be completed late this year.
Bikes will be able to use the bridge safely while the restoration works are carried out.