Rumble in Yarra's Edge

Docklands News reported (01/10/13) Yarra's Edge residents were growing increasingly worried about the proposed tram bridge as outlined in the Fishermans Bend draft vision.  Under the headline "Yarra's Edge tram bridge outrage", Docklands News quoted boat owners as saying they would oppose any low-level bridge that would restrict access to the Marina.

The article similarly quotes the Planning Minister as saying "the bridge was more than 20 years off from being built" and then quotes a Places Victoria representative as saying "a tram link between Collins Street and Yarra's Edge would be in place within 10 years".  Confused?  You're not alone.

Whilst a tunnel might keep the boat owners of Yarra's Edge happy, we need to look at the overall benefits of building the cheaper option: a low-level bridge:

  • cheaper to construct than a tunnel
  • more likely to provide pedestrian & cycle links adjacent to tram tracks
  • ability to place a tram stop right on the southern bank of the river - injecting people into an otherwise inactive urban environment
  • no unsightly ramp in the middle of Collins Street in Victoria Harbour.

One potential idea is to slowly move the berths to the west of the proposed bridge alignment as leases in their current position expire therefore allowing a fixed bridge to be built maximising the public's return on investment in the bridge.  

If you're to believe the Places Victoria representative's timeframe of 10 years then an opening bridge could be built with a view to lock it in position over a longer timeframe once the berths have moved away from their current position.   In 10 years, Fishermans Bend (in particular the Lorimer precinct) isn't likely required to have super-high frequency services traversing the river (therefore periods each hour for opening could be catered for), but in 20 years time (the Planning Minister's quoted timeframe) demand for high frequency access to and from Fishermans Bend is likely to be much greater with the entire redevelopment zone underway in some shape or form.

On the loss of open / green space, it is well within the realms of possibility to acquire the site on the opposite side of Lorimer street (pan the street view below around 180 degrees) to even increase the amount of open space available to existing Yarra's Edge residents, mitigating the obvious loss of existing green space should a low-level bridge be the preferred option.

View Larger Map

As I wrote two weeks ago, the most interesting part of the Fishermans Bend draft vision was the eventual form this new link would take.  I just didnt think it would be this quick for the locals to fire up.


Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Transport & Design

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:00
When a site spans 19,280 square metres, it becomes a 'district'. That's the case according to the development team behind the Jam Factory's pending overhaul. Reporting on the project to date has focused on the close to 60,000 square metres of new commercial space that is earmarked for the site, but more importantly from a layperson's perspective is the extensive new public realm that is planned as part of the development.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.