Drivers are a step closer to a faster and less congested drive on the Chandler Highway, with the Andrews Labor Government’s brand-new Chandler Highway Bridge set to open to traffic for the first time from Monday.
Locals got their first look at the new river crossing at a community barbeque held on the new bridge today.
The new bridge will remove a notorious local bottleneck, replacing the 127-year-old, two-lane heritage structure with a purpose built, six-lane bridge, improving traffic flow between Alphington and the Eastern Freeway.
More than two thousand workers have so far worked 282,500 hours on site to ensure drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can travel over the new bridge as soon as possible.
Traffic will move onto two lanes of the bridge in time for the morning peak on Monday while work on the remaining four lanes continues.
Pedestrians and cyclists will also move onto the new bridge behind a temporary separated shared use path.
Opened in 1891 as part of the Outer Circle Railway Line, the old Chandler Highway Bridge is a major congestion hotspot, with more than 44,000 motorists using it every day.
The historic old bridge will be retained, serving as a pedestrian and cycling link between Alphington and Kew, as well as linking to upgraded walking and cycling paths along the Yarra River.
The Chandler Highway Upgrade is being delivered by Major Road Projects Authority and construction will continue to open the remaining four lanes over the new bridge over the coming months.
As stated by Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“From Monday morning local residents who’ve waited decades for this bottleneck to be fixed will be able to drive over the brand-new Chandler Highway Bridge.”
“This project was in the too hard basket for far too long – only an Andrews Labor Government will deliver the congestion busting infrastructure Melbournians need.”
As noted by Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Jenny Mikakos
“We know that the delays and closures during construction have been frustrating, so we’re taking this opportunity to thank locals for their patience.”
As noted by Member for Ivanhoe Anthony Carbines
“We all know how frustrating it is to be stuck in traffic on the Chandler Highway – with traffic to start flowing on the new bridge we’re another step closer to this notorious bottleneck being gone for good.”