Swan Street Bridge upgrade

We're upgrading Swan Street Bridge to help reduce congestion, and improve safety and travel times for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. The upgrade will add an extra lane for drivers heading east to remove bottlenecks and provide safer and better access for joggers and cyclists.

Project update - November 2017

An important milestone has been reached on the complex Swan Street Bridge upgrade, with two traffic lanes set to open this month.

Olympic Boulevard regulars will benefit from a new eastbound lane, while drivers travelling on the Swan Street Bridge towards Alexandra Avenue will notice that the fourth westbound lane has re-opened.

We’re also on track to open a new path for pedestrians and cyclists on the north side of the bridge before the end of the year, just in time for the Australian Open. 

Our priority is to keep Melbourne moving, which is why we’ve kept the bridge open during construction. 

If you can, please continue to use alternate routes and avoid this busy area.

Thanks for sticking with us during these important works. 

Plan your journey

During this time we encourage commuters to plan ahead, take an alternative route or catch public transport, especially if you’re going to an event. 

For drivers:

If you’re driving towards the city and usually turn into Olympic Boulevard from Hoddle Street expect the following delays:

  • up to 20 minutes in the morning peak
  • up to 15 minutes in the evening peak and;
  • 10 minutes outside of the peak times.

We recommend you take one of the following alternative routes from Hoddle Street/Punt Road so that you avoid travelling along Olympic Boulevard and Swan Street Bridge:

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

View a larger version of the map [PDF  765Kb]

There’ll be plenty of on-road signs with live travel time information to help guide you. 
To plan your journey before you leave, check the VicTraffic app (External link) or follow @VicTraffic (External link) on Twitter.

For pedestrians:

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

For cyclists:

The riverside trails on both sides of the Yarra are closed under the Swan Street Bridge.  We recommend you taking the detour routes indicated on the map below.

The detour for the Capital City Trail on the Alexandra Ave side of the Yarra River uses The Tan and is approximately 900m and adds about seven minutes when walking. We recommend you use the signalised lights to cross Alexandra Ave, Linlithgow Ave and back across Alexandra Ave to resume on the trail.

The detour for the Main Yarra Trail on the Batman Ave / Melbourne Park side of the river uses the shared path beside Rod Laver Arena. It adds 90m and an extra three minutes to walk, allowing for traffic lights to activate. We recommend you use the signalised lights to cross Batman Ave and Olympic Blvd.
A map of swan street bridge closures

View larger version of Riverside trails closure May - July detour map [JPEG, 1.4Mb]

We have electronic message boards on approaches to the bridge adjacent to where pedestrians and cyclists are advised to safely detour and 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 detouring at night.

Bicycles are vehicles and are permitted to use the road, just like drivers. Bike riders are therefore required to obey the same road rules as drivers.  For more information on how bike riders and other road users can share the road and paths safely. 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 as the works progress.

Project details

The 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
  • a new pedestrian and cycling path on either side of the bridge, separated from road traffic
  • a new pedestrian crossing on the Alexandra Avenue side of the bridge.
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) 

Project Background

The iconic Swan Street Bridge is the main east-west Yarra River crossing in the city, giving access to Melbourne’s sports and entertainment precinct and the Domain Parklands. 

The bridge has two lanes in each direction, one of the eastbound lanes being an exclusive right turn lane for cars heading towards the CityLink toll road. Drivers regularly use the right turn lane incorrectly, merging and overtaking eastbound cars. The bridge also has footpaths on either side of the bridge but there is no allocated bicycle lane across the Swan Street Bridge despite having bicycle lanes on Olympic Boulevard.

Over 30,000 cars cross the bridge every day and during peak periods approximately 60 cyclists per hour use the footpaths. After major events in Melbourne’s sports and entertainment precinct up to 1300 pedestrians per hour walk over the bridge.

The bridge experiences heavy traffic volume on the Alexandra Avenue approach. The upgrade aims to help traffic flow in an eastbound direction, particularly during the peak periods.

Swan Street Bridge map 

View a larger version of the map

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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