Construction of walking and cycling crossover to begin as part of West Gate Tunnel works
Preparations are under way to start building the connections that will link up walking and cycling paths across Footscray Rd and Moonee Ponds Creek as part of the West Gate Tunnel Project.
A temporary walking and cycling path is now in place along Footscray Rd between Waterfront Way and Little Docklands Drive, which a West Gate Tunnel Project (WGTP) spokesperson said would allow a work zone to be set up to build the bridge over Footscray Rd.
“[This will] create a safer journey for cyclists who will no longer need to rely on traffic lights to cross one of Melbourne’s busiest intersections,” the spokesperson said.
“This section of the project will eventually link to the veloway that will be part of the new elevated road over Footscray Rd connecting the tunnels to CityLink and the CBD.”
According to a press release provided by the WGTP, the 2.5km veloway will give cyclists a safe express route to and from the city and support the growing number of Melburnians riding to work each day.
Two bridge crossings for pedestrians and cyclists will also be provided over Moonee Ponds Creek on either side of Footscray Rd.
West Gate Tunnel Project acting chief executive Peter Lellyett said the active transport infrastructure works around Docklands were “about to step up a gear”.
“The West Gate Tunnel Project is not only about cutting congestion and improving travel times on the roads – it will also transform the way pedestrians and cyclists travel between the inner west and the CBD,” Mr Lellyett said.
“Construction of the walking and cycling paths near Docklands is about to step up a gear, and we’d like to thank local residents for their patience as this vital work continues.”
As part of the construction work and following consultation with the City of Melbourne and Friends of Moonee Ponds Creek (FoMPC), the WGTP said a number of established trees and vegetation have been removed to enable extension of the project boundary.
According to the WGTP, more new trees and understorey species will be planted to restore biodiversity and habitat in the area, with the Project working with the FoMPC and City of Melbourne on the revegetation plan.
“The community is calling for northern veloway crossing of the Moonee Ponds Creek to be redesigned to remove the unnecessary U-shaped loop and to incorporate into the close by former rail bridge crossing (Bridge 75), together with an interpretation platform and allowing the creation of more green space along the creek banks underneath,” Kaye Oddie said, who spoke on behalf of the FoMPC.
“Despite support from Bicycle Network, the WGTP community liaison group, FoMPC, approval of the redesign is held up in the WGTP approval process.”
The state government has also invested $50 million into a package of improvements to public space and traffic flow in the North and West Melbourne area which includes funding to implement the Moonee Ponds Creek Masterplan for revitalisation of the area around the creek.
The WGTP, which is expected to be completed in 2025, is delivering more than 14 kilometres of new and improved walking and cycling infrastructure, and close to nine hectares of new parks and wetlands.