Swan Street Bridge upgrade

We're upgrading Swan Street Bridge to help improve traffic flow, safety and travel times for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Project update - March 2018

In late 2017 we re-opened 2 inbound traffic lanes and an additional 4th lane, so drivers can now benefit from 2 lanes in both directions. 

We also unveiled the new 4-meter-wide pedestrian and cycling path on the city side of the bridge to improve safety and accessibility for all users. 

Next stage of works 

We started demolishing the south side of the bridge in January, with works progressing into March. We’re steadily replacing the existing bridge and upgrading it with new beams. 

Plan your journey

We encourage you to plan ahead, take an alternative route or catch public transport, especially if going to an event in the precinct. 


We’re back to 4 lanes across the bridge, with 2 lanes in each direction. These additional lanes will improve your travel times.

Occasional lane closures and night works are still in place, so we recommend taking alternative routes where possible, including:

  • Alexandra Parade
  • Albert Street
  • Wellington Parade
  • Commercial Road

There will be plenty of on-road signs with live travel time information to help guide you. 

To plan your journey beforehand, check the VicTraffic app (External link) or follow @VicTraffic (External link) on Twitter.


If you’re travelling on foot, follow the pedestrian detour signs and use the footpath on the Olympic Park side of the bridge.


The riverside trails on both sides of the Yarra are closed under the Swan Street Bridge until mid-2018. We recommend you take the detour routes indicated on our maps below.
  • Capital City Trail detour on the Alexandra Ave side of the Yarra River uses zebra and signal-controlled crossings on Alexandra Ave. These crossings are at the bridge and about 200m along The Tan. The trail resumes on the riverside shared-use path in both directions.
  • The Main Yarra Trail detour on the Batman Ave / Melbourne Park side of the river uses the shared path and requires you to cross using the lights at Batman Ave / Olympic Blvd. The crossing is next to Rod Laver Arena (city side) and the Holden Centre (Cremorne side). The shared path runs behind the Olympic Park training ground, AAMI Park and Gosch’s Paddock. Riders and walkers resume / depart the riverside trail at Morell Bridge, via a footbridge over CityLink. The path has motion-activated lights for night use and all detours are clearly marked. 

Image of the Swan Street Bridge riverside cycle trail closure map

View a larger version of the Swan Street Bridge Upgrade - Riverside trails closure detour map

The shared footpath will be closed for demolition, as shown on the map, from the beginning of January.

We have electronic message boards close to the bridge and alongside the pedestrian and cyclist detour. You will be able to cross the road using signalised lights. 

Signage along the route clearly shows the detour. Street lighting and lighting along the paths, including The Tan, assist pedestrians and cyclists when using the detour at night.

Both bicycles are vehicles and are permitted to use the road. Bike riders are therefore required to obey the same road rules as drivers.

Learn more on cyclist safety and how bike riders and other road users can share the road and paths safely.

Public transport:

If you’re travelling by train, tram or bus, visit PTV (External link) to plan your journey. 

Please check this page regularly as we will continue to provide updates.

Project background

The iconic Swan Street Bridge is the main east-west Yarra River crossing in the city. The bridge gives access to Melbourne’s sports and entertainment precinct, MCG and the Domain Parklands including the famous Royal Botanic Gardens.

More than 30,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day including placarded loads (fuel tankers, over-height trucks, etc.). During peak hours hundreds of cyclists also use the footpaths. After major events in Melbourne’s sports and entertainment precinct up to 1300 pedestrians per hour walk over the bridge.

Since opening in 1952 with 2 lanes in each direction, the bridge has been overtaken by traffic growth and major changes like the opening of CityLink. Demands to add an eastbound lane towards Richmond / Punt Rd came about because the exclusive right-turn lane heading towards CityLink on Batman Ave was being used incorrectly.

Many drivers who weren’t turning right would stay in the lane to avoid queuing in the slow left lane. Subsequently, drivers would attempt to merge on the bridge and cut off vehicles heading towards Punt Rd or delay those wanting to turn right. The bridge also had narrow, unprotected footpaths on either side that could not cope with crowds heading to and from nearby events. Additionally, there were no dedicated bicycle lanes across the bridge despite Olympic Bvd having marked lanes for cyclists in each direction.

These works aims to help traffic flow in an eastbound direction, particularly during peak periods.

Swan Street Bridge map 

View a larger version of the map

About the project

The Swan Street Bridge design draws inspiration from Melbourne’s surrounding landmarks and will link the city to Melbourne’s sport and entertainment precinct. 

The plans for the project include a new:

  • eastbound lane added to Swan Street Bridge (due to open 2018)
  • pedestrian and cycling paths on either side of the bridge, separated from road traffic (city side now open)
  • pedestrian crossing on the Alexandra Avenue side of the bridge - now open
  • outbound lane (towards Richmond / Punt Rd) along Olympic Blvd – now open.
View our artist impressions below.

Image of the Swan Street Bridge

Image of the Swan Street Bridge

View Swan Street Bridge upgrade flyover video (External link)

View Premiers Media Release - Iconic Swan Street Bridge Gets Facelift (External link)

View Minister for Roads and Road Safety Media Release – Design Selected For Revamped Swan Street Bridge (External link) 

Contact us

To find out more about this project, get in touch with the Metropolitan Projects team.

Call: (03) 8572 7901
Email: [email protected]
Write: The Project Director, VicRoads Metropolitan Projects – Western, Ground Floor, 1 McNab Avenue, Footscray, VIC 3011.

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