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Blissful bridge again

10 Sep 2019

Blissful bridge again Image

By David Schout

Evan Walker Bridge is noisy no more, after the footbridge connecting the CBD with Southbank was finally fixed by the City of Melbourne.

The half a million-dollar upgrade included the installation of new support blocks and steel fasteners to quieten what was colloquially known as the “noisy bridge”.

Users had become accustomed to the “click-clacking” on the pedestrian passage – named after the former Victorian planning minister – which was caused by a flaw in the design.

The noise produced by the bridge’s decking had become particularly loud at the northern end near Flinders Street Station.

“The geometry and popularity of the pedestrian bridge had caused the planks to flex and make noise,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.

“This upgrade will deliver a much quieter walk for anyone who uses the Evan Walker Bridge.”

It is estimated that around 20,000 pedestrians use the bridge each day.

In June 2015, the council invested $150,000 to refurbish and re-deck the former timber bridge, forcing its closure for nearly a month while maintenance works were carried out.

But once re-opened, a surge of complaints followed about the new fibre-reinforced polymer decking, a composite material that produced a clattering sound when walked on.

Popular bar Ponyfish Island, which operates beneath the bridge, told Southbank Local News at the time that the noise was directly affecting its business.

The council is also investing $250,000 to repaint the bridge early next year, alongside upgrades to its blue LED lights.

The works on Evan Walker Bridge were just one of three footbridges the council recently announced it would upgrade.

Nearby Sandridge Bridge also received $165,000 worth of waterproofing upgrades, while Cr Capp announced $390,000 to replace timber decking with fibre reinforced polymer decking on the Birrarung Marr footbridge between Flinders Street Station and Melbourne Park.

“We are focused on delivering projects that enhance our public spaces along the Yarra River and Southbank,” the Lord Mayor said.

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