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Short-term bridge pain

06 Apr 2017

Short-term bridge pain Image

Works started last month to widen the Swan St Bridge and drivers are being encouraged to plan ahead with long delays along City Rd and Alexandra Ave expected until July.

However, Southbank can expect major benefits from the bridge’s $30 million upgrade with an extra lane to help ease peak hour congestion along City Rd.

New cantilevered four-metre-wide shared footpaths on both of sides of the bridge will also help pedestrians and cyclists accessing Southbank.

The City of Melbourne’s director of city design Prof Rob Adams last month also hinted at council’s plans to create a cycling route connecting the bridge with the future linear park at Southbank Boulevard.

The upgrade will be undertaken in three stages beginning with the removal and re-building of the bridge’s existing beams and new shared paths on both sides of the bridge.

Each section of the existing bridge will be carefully removed and replaced piece-by-piece by a 150-tonne crane stationed on a barge on the river.

The final stage will re-open all lanes to traffic, switch on the feature lights and include additional landscaping.

There will be changed traffic conditions on the bridge until July with one city-bound lane and one footpath closed, along with short-term bridge closures at night.

Drivers are encouraged to use alternative routes such as Alexandra Pde, Victoria Pde, Wellington Pde and Commercial Rd or use public transport to travel to and from Southbank.

Announcing the start of the upgrades at Birrarung Marr on March 29, Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan said the bridge was “part of the fabric of our city”.

“We’re slashing travel times by five minutes and boosting safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, making it easier for people to access Melbourne’s sport and entertainment precincts.”

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