The Victorian Government has announced plans for a $30m project to widen the Swan Street Bridge to five lanes.
The intersection is one of Melbourne’s busiest and most congested – it caters to approximately 30,000 cars, 1,300 pedestrians and 1,000 cyclists every day.
Given that the area is also a major sporting precinct and leads to major cultural precincts, the area not only suffers during peak-hour, but also suffers during major sporting and cultural events.
Roads Minister Luke Donnelland said that the bridge is a notorious bottleneck and given that there are few river crossings in Melbourne, it is important to make it as efficient and safe as possible.
Artist impression of the new Swan St bridge. Source: Herald Sun
The upgrade will allow for two lanes going straight ahead over the bridge into Swan Street, one lane turning right and two lanes going towards the city.
Some minor works will also be done in front of Rod Laver Arena to ensure that there are two lanes of traffic for the cars coming over the bridge.
The new bridge will feature separate extensions on both sides of the road for pedestrians and cyclists. The footpaths will be complete with barriers and the wings will be clipped at both ends of the bridge to for heightened safety.
A new pedestrian crossing on the Alexandra Ave side of the bridge will also be constructed, catering for the 1300 people that cross the bridge hourly during major sporting and concert events.
Expressions of interest on the design proposal will be made public on May 18.
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