Princes Bridge—a vital connection in Melbourne’s bike network—will be shut down to all traffic at the end of the month.
A major tram track renewal project will require the closure of the historic bridge and a section of St Kilda Road for two weeks.
The result will be a major dislocation of regular bike routes to and from the city.
Princes Bridge is the river crossing for Melbourne’s busiest bike corridor—Swanston Street-St Kilda Road, so closing it will inevitably have a considerable impact.
The alternative, rideable river crossings are at Queensbridge and Swan Street, and they will add considerable time and distance to many journeys.
In a further disruption, a section of Southbank Boulevard will also be closed.
A preferred detour has been developed by Yarra Trams, City of Melbourne, project contractors and Bicycle Network.
Coming from St Kilda Road, riders can make their way via Linlithgow Avenue to Alexandra Avenue, from where they can either continue and cross the river at Swan Street, or head downstream through Southbank and cross at Queensbridge.
From the north, riders can use Flinders Lane from Swanston Street to Queensbridge, or link from Exhibition Street via Bateman Avenue to Swan Street Bridge and Linlithgow Avenue.
Fortunately, riders can also take advantage of recent upgrades such as improvements to Rathdowne-Exhibition Streets, Peel-William-Queensbridge Streets, and the route down through South Melbourne along Moray Street.
The works have been scheduled from 2.30am Sunday 27 June to 5am Monday 12 July 2021 (winter school holidays) and will take place 24 hours a day.
It will involve tram track, overhead power line and tram stop upgrades on St Kilda Road between Flinders Street and Southbank Boulevard, and Southbank Boulevard between St Kilda Road and Sturt Street, Melbourne.
Significantly, work will also involve upgrading of Stop 13 Flinders Street Station and Swanston Street including:
- Extending the tram platforms to accommodate more passengers
- Upgrades to stop amenities and access to improve accessibility compliance
- New tram stop shelters
- Upgrades to passenger information and signage on the stop.
Riders will be hoping these changes will improve the operation of this precinct outside the station.
Here’s hoping that the bike lantern at the pedestrian crossing outside the station, cleverly hidden behind a pole, finds a more visible spot.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.