The new shared path and bridge on Harris Street in Yarraville, which will take bikes over the busy Whitehall Street truck route, has started construction.
This structure is a vital component of the bicycle facilities being delivered by the West Gate Tunnel Project as it will supplement the need for hundreds of riders to use the crossing at the busy Whitehall Street intersection at Somerville Road each day.
The new bridge across Whitehall Street will link Hyde Street to the new section of trail and boardwalk being constructed adjacent to the tunnel portal. The path will connect with the Maribyrnong River path to Footscray Road and seamlessly connect cyclists with Docklands.
The path will be elevated on piers along lower Harris Street beside the Yarraville Gardens and sports oval, then cross Whitehall Street before descending across the wetlands area to be created near the tunnel portal.
This effectively provides a grade-separated route all the way into the city from Yarraville as the path will link into the elevated veloway to be constructed above Footscray Road.
Although the work has started, and the bridge will be airborne later – around mid-year – it won’t hook into anything on the other side, or be operational until 2025.
There will be minimal disruption to bike routes during the Harris Street project, but the beam lift over the Whitehall shared-use path will mean periodic stoppage of bike riders on the path during stage two of works.
As stage one of works is underway, Harris Street will be closed between Cowper and Whitehall streets until April 2024. Work hours are Monday to Friday, 7am to 5pm. Various night shifts will be scheduled as required.
The footpath on the western side of Whitehall Street along the edge of Yarraville Gardens is closed until April. The footpath has diverted to the shared-use path on the eastern side of Whitehall Street and riders may need to be mindful of pedestrians.
Note that concurrent with these works, the City of Maribyrnong will be redeveloping Cowper Street (one of the few remaining sections of gravel road in inner Melbourne) between Harris and Lyons streets.
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