The City of Melbourne will coordinate the timing of upgrades to Southbank Promenade with nearby projects to ease disruption in the area and prioritise the completion of Southbank Boulevard.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said an upgrade to 300 metres of Southbank Promenade between the Evan Walker Bridge and Princes Bridge was originally planned to commence in early 2020, but will now commence in 2021.
“Southbank is a thriving tourist and residential area and is set to boom over the next 15 years, so we need to create more public open space and infrastructure in the area,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We also know that Melbourne is experiencing an unprecedented period of construction, and we need to manage disruption appropriately.
“The feedback we’ve heard from local businesses and residents is that they are feeling the effects of multiple projects in the area, including delays to Southbank Boulevard, and now is not the right time to commence a new project that would result in further disruption.
“We understand there are a number of upcoming projects that could impact works on Southbank Promenade, so it’s sensible to allow these works to be completed first to minimise disruption and reduce unnecessary expense.”
The Southbank Boulevard upgrade includes bicycle lanes that should ease congestion along Southbank Promenade and improve safety for pedestrians.
“Currently the majority of people riding bikes along the Yarra Trail use Southbank Promenade to travel from east to west of the city, which can result in conflicts between people cycling and walking,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The Southbank Boulevard upgrade will deliver 1.1 kilometres of bike lanes that will create a connection for cyclists from Swan Street Bridge to Queensbridge Square along Southbank Boulevard, and Linlithgow and Alexandra avenues, instead of using Southbank Promenade.”
Separated bike lanes have opened along Linlithgow Avenue and Southbank Boulevard, and the remaining bike paths are expected to open by late 2020.
“Ultimately, we want to provide commuter cyclists with an alternative route, so we can prioritise the banks of the Yarra River as a destination rather than a transport thoroughfare,” the Lord Mayor said.
The relocation of the sculpture ‘Dervish’ from Southbank Promenade to the Hamer Hall balcony will still take place in mid-2020.
A planning application for the future works on Southbank Promenade was approved on Tuesday 18 February 2020.