Construction companies have been invited to submit expressions of interest for the $110 million Chandler Highway Upgrade, and interested companies will be shortlisted before the tender process which will start mid-2016.
Construction for the Chandler Highway upgrade is expected to begin mid-2017, and should be completed by late 2018. The Chandler Highway currently has four traffic lanes (two on each side) and these narrow down to just one in each direction on the Yarra River Bridge.
The highway carries approximately 44,000 vehicles each day, and because it’s running above capacity, there is often congestion and sometimes extended delays. The current bridge is also narrow and ageing.
The Chandler Highway upgrade will involve widening the roadway to six lanes, and a new bridge will be built and located west of the current bridge. The existing bridge will then be changed into a shared user path (with room underneath and on the bridge). The Victorian Government is planning to nominate the bridge so that it will be listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.
Fiona Richardson is the Member for Northcote, and she said that the Chandler Highway upgrade will help increase diversity in the neighbourhood.
The Victorian government is currently asking the public to share their design ideas for two new public spaces that will be part of the upgrade. Some of the proposals that have already been received include parks, community gardens and playgrounds, or something similar to the High Line in New York (a park that was built on an elevated section of railroad in Manhattan).
Along with the extra lanes and new bridge, traffic lights will be installed at the Yarra Boulevard intersection and the intersection at Heidelberg Road will be upgraded. Pedestrian and cycling paths will also be improved so that access is easier and safer for those wanting to get to nearby trails.