Following safety concerns and a previous community campaign, Hobsons Bay City Council is pitching the state government for $1.5 million in funding for a separated bridge that will enable pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross Laverton Creek.
Through 2020, the Victorian Government delivered the Queen Street Bridge Strengthening project, as the Queen Street Bridge is state infrastructure. Despite a wide scale local campaign, the project did not include provision for a safe and accessible crossing for cyclists and pedestrians.
Council has produced designs for a shared use bridge that is 60 metres long and 3.5 metres wide, with lighting. The design solution runs alongside the existing road bridge and is designed to retain views across Laverton Creek and the Ramsar Wetlands.
The Queen Street bridge connects the east and west of Hobsons Bay. At present, pedestrians and cyclists travelling along Queen Street risk their safety crossing the existing bridge, which is used by 19,250 vehicles each day. In excess of 1,000 Hobsons Bay residents advocated to the state government in 2019 to address the current safety issues that sees pedestrians and cyclists using the shoulder of the bridge to cross.
The Queen Street access point is a crucial connector to the Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail network and the recreational facilities in the area, including the Altona Sports Centre, a skate park and BMX pump track, Queen of Peace Primary school, as well as HD Graham Reserve, which is the site of the future Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre. On the eastern side of the bridge is the Kooringal Golf Club, the Hobsons Bay Men’s Shed, the Esplanade and nature reserves.
Safe cycle lanes and pedestrian access are a priority in Victoria – this should be no different in Hobsons Bay. This project is seen by Council and residents as a crucial part of the local integrated transport network.