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Bold new vision for Sandridge Bridge

11 Jun 2015

Bold new vision for Sandridge Bridge Image

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has backed a proposal to transform Southbank’s historic Sandridge Bridge into an “aerial park”.

The City of Melbourne created the design concept for a tree-lined park on the 178 metre pedestrian bridge that connects Flinders St Station to Queensbridge Square in Southbank.

Plans to refurbish the bridge as part of the Flinders St Station redevelopment were put on hold after the State Government scrapped the initial plans of the previous government.

The Lord Mayor has since put the Sandridge Bridge back on the agenda, stating that a refurbishment would help revitalise Queensbridge Square.

“The Sandridge Bridge is a really important historic link in Melbourne but it’s a pretty drab bridge at the moment,” he said.

“I don’t think Queensbridge Square is our greatest public open space, but imagine if we gave it a treatment like the famous high line in New York.”

“I would much rather see it as a pedestrian link from the north to the south of Yarra and turning Queensbridge Square into one of our great public open spaces.”

The Sandridge Bridge was part of the former Port Melbourne railway line, which was closed in 1987 and converted to tram route 109, which now runs through Clarendon and Whiteman Streets in Southbank.

The bridge was reopened as a pedestrian and cycling bridge in 2006 and now features public artwork celebrating Victoria’s migrant history.

The Lord Mayor said he was working with councillors and the State Government to support the project, but added that a feasibility study was yet to be undertaken.

While significant engineering work would have to be undertaken to widen and support the weight of the garden, the Lord Mayor said the proposal would provide a great asset to Melbourne and likened it to the High Line in New York.

“The bridge at the moment is a beautiful structure but it’s not all that pleasant to walk across,” he said.

“If you go to the High Line in New York, there are people who make the journey to New York just to walk along that railway bridge, which has been turned into a garden.”

“It’s a very beautiful and a very Melbourne-type experience, so I think it could be a great addition to our tourist attractions and to our walking plan for Melbourne.”`

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