Swan Street Bridge upgrade

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

Swan Street Bridge disruptions - May

22 May 2018 

Alexandra Avenue closed from the bridge to the pedestrian crossing 200m south Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 May, 9pm to 6am.

Batman Avenue closed on Friday 25, then Sunday 27, Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May each night between 9pm and 6am.

To keep our work moving forward, we're closing lanes over the next few days near the Swan Street Bridge.

  • While we finish works at the corner of the bridge, we’re closing Alexandra Avenue from the bridge to the pedestrian crossing 200m south. Detours will be in place on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 May between 9pm and 6am.

Image of a map showing the Alexandra Avenue night closure detour  

View larger version of Alexandra Avenue night closure detour [JPEG 515Kb]

Asphalting works – Batman Avenue and Swan Street Bridge intersection

We’ll put asphalt on parts of the bridge, Batman Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. 

On Friday 25, then Sunday 27, Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May each night between 9pm and 6am, expect the following changes to traffic:

  • Batman Avenue closed between Flinders Street and Citylink
  • Swan Street bridge and Olympic Boulevard down to one lane of traffic each way
  • traffic controllers in place guide you through the works
  • detours to your journey in place, per the map below.

Expect delays, so add extra time when you plan your journey through the area.

Image of map showing detour for Batman Avenue closure 

View a larger version of the Batman Avenue closure detour

 

Project update - May 2018

Over the last few weeks we've:

  • installed all of the steel fins for the structure of the shared-user path
  • poured the concrete to the South side footpath
  • started finishing works to each corner of the bridge
  • if you're driving out of the city, you might have enjoyed the extra lane heading straight to Olympic Boulevard. Drivers have already told us how much quicker it is coming up to the bridge.

Next stage of works 

We’ll complete the shared-user path by the end of June. The handrails on the river side are currently being installed and the barriers to the traffic side will be arriving soon.

We’ll also add a new driving surface to the top of the existing asphalt along Olympic Boulevard and Batman Ave to improve the road surface. 

Coming soon

Over the next six weeks we’ll work on finishing the bridge, the shared-user path and the concrete and landscaping at each corner of the bridge. 

As we work to finish the project in mid-2018, we'll:

  • install expansion joints to each end of the bridge so it stays strong 
  • finish the areas where the bridge meets the land and works to the paths under the bridge
  • install the feature lighting on the bridge, and paint it
  • complete landscaping.

Plan your journey

If you’re travelling through the area while we work, make sure you plan ahead. Take an alternative route or catch public transport, especially if you’re heading to an event nearby. 

Drivers:

You’ll notice there are now 5 lanes across the bridge, with 3 lanes heading towards Richmond.

We’ll still put lane closures in place at night to help us finish works quickly. Because of this, we recommend you find another way to get to where you’re going. 

You can try:

  • Victoria Parade
  • Albert Street
  • Wellington Parade

There’s plenty of signs on the road with live travel time information to help guide you. 

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

Walking:

We’ve temporarily closed parts of the Main Yarra Trail near the bridge on both sides of the river until mid-2018. We’ve also closed the footpath on the southern side of the Bridge.
On the western side, which follows Alexandra Ave, the trail is temporarily closed from the bridge southwards. To avoid the closure, follow the detour signs, and:
  • cross to the Tan track at Swan Street Bridge traffic lights
  • rejoin the trail using the zebra pedestrian crossing 200m south of the bridge.

On the eastern side, which follows Batman Ave, the trail is temporarily closed from the pedestrian crossing north of the bridge near Rod Laver Arena to Morell Bridge.

To avoid the closure, follow the detour signs, and:

  • cross Batman Ave at the pedestrian crossing
  • detour along Olympic Blvd
  • cut through Gosch’s Paddock
  • rejoin the trail at Morell Bridge.
To cross the river, you’ll need to use the northern side of the bridge. 

While these parts of the trail are closed, you’ll only need to allow a few more minutes to your usual journey.

Cycling:

We’ve temporarily closed the riverside paths of the Main Yarra Trail under Swan Street Bridge on both sides of the Yarra until mid-2018. We’ve also closed the footpath on the southern side of the Bridge.
 
On the western side, which follows Alexandra Ave, the trail is temporarily closed from the bridge southwards. To avoid the closure, follow the detour signs, and:
  • cross to the Tan track at Swan Street Bridge traffic lights
  • rejoin the trail using the zebra pedestrian crossing 200m south of the bridge
  • head down the hill to the lower cyclist trail.

On the eastern side, which follows Batman Ave, the trail is temporarily closed from the pedestrian crossing north of the bridge near Rod Laver Arena to Morell Bridge.

To avoid the closure, follow the detour signs, and:

  • cross Batman Ave at the pedestrian crossing
  • detour along Olympic Blvd
  • cut through Gosch’s Paddock
  • rejoin the trail at Morell Bridge.

To cross the river, you’ll need to use the northern side of the bridge.

While these parts of the trail are closed, you’ll only need to allow a few more minutes to your usual journey.

Image of the Cyclist detour map at the Swan Street Bridge

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

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.

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 aim 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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