VICTORIAN Roads and Road Safety Minister Luke Donnellan last week announced the start of works to the $40 million upgrade to Shepherd Bridge and the surrounding road network to increase capacity, reduce bottlenecks and provide cycling facilities.
The project includes:
- Widening of Shepherd Bridge from two to four outbound lanes;
- A new separated shared user path for cyclists and pedestrians crossing the Maribyrnong River;
- Widening Moreland Street from two to four lanes with an upgraded connection to Footscray Road; and
- New signalised intersections improving traffic flow along Moreland Street at Footscray Road, Parker Street and Whitehall Street.
According to the government, upgrading Shepherd Bridge and Footscray Road will address the current bottleneck at Whitehall and Napier Streets. Duplicating Moreland Street between Footscray Road and Whitehall Street will allow for a more efficient flow of traffic to the Port and Melbourne CBD.
The shared user path has been designed in collaboration with urban design consultants to meet the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. It will complement the existing character of the area, with a design influenced by the local shipping industry.
Construction of the new pedestrian and cycling bridge will start in June and the widening and strengthening of Shepherd Bridge will be complete at the start of 2017, with all works completed in mid-2017.
The project is the first stage of the government's West Gate Distributor Project. Future stages of the project include an upgrade and duplication of Whitehall Street between Francis Street and Somerville Road West, West Gate Freeway on-and-off ramps and an elevated road along Hyde Street, Yarraville.