Media Release from the Minister of Public Transport:
A $3.5 million project to construct a shared pedestrian and cyclist bridge over Maroondah Highway to link the Warburton Trail at Lilydale is now complete, Minister for Roads and Public Transport Terry Mulder said today.
Mr Mulder said VicRoads, Parks Victoria and the Shire of Yarra Ranges jointly funded the project and worked together to provide this vital link in the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail.
“The architecturally designed bridge incorporates elements of previous railway bridges and reflects its role as a ‘gateway’ to Lilydale and the Yarra Valley,” Mr Mulder said.
The bridge is approximately 90 metres long and 3 metres wide (internally) with 1.7 metre high sides. The steel fabrication was carried out at Corowa and steel trusses were transported to the site and placed in position over Maroondah Highway.
Mr Mulder said historically the trail started at the Lilydale Railway Station and followed the old railway alignment, but since the removal of old railway bridge there had been no crossing over the Maroondah Highway at Lilydale.
“The new bridge is another significant step forward in improving pedestrian and cycling facilities across Melbourne,” Mr Mulder said.
“It not only removes any potential conflict with cars travelling on the Maroondah Highway but it also completes the Warburton Trail, adding to the safety of local residents and people visiting the area.
“Most local trips range from two to five kilometres, which are easy distances to walk or cycle, and leaving the car at home helps to reduce road congestion and pollution,” Mr Mulder said.
Member for Evelyn Christine Fyffe said the new bridge meant improved safety and increased tourism.
“Now that the bridge is open, pedestrians and cyclists will not have to make the dangerous crossing over Maroondah Highway,” Mrs Fyffe said.
“The bridge will make the Warburton Trail an even better tourism and recreation asset for the Yarra Valley.”
Mr Mulder said projects such as this one were the result of consultation with the community, local councils and other interest groups about their needs to improve transport networks.
“This project is a response to a clear call from Victorians for greener transport choices, as well as ensuring cycling infrastructure is built into our communities”, Mr Mulder said.