New sports precinct bridge open for Melbourne Derby
Melbourne Park’s new Edwin Flack Bridge is to open this weekend, just in time for Saturday’s grudge match between Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory.
Minister for Major Projects Denis Napthine said pedestrians will now be able to walk direct from the MCG and Yarra Park to AAMI Park via the fantastic new Edwin Flack Bridge over Olympic Boulevard.
“A big crowd is expected for the Melbourne Derby so the bridge opening is perfectly timed,” Dr Napthine said.
“On their way people will get their first look at the new Eastern Plaza and National Tennis Centre building which are in the final stages of preparation for use during the 2013 Australian Open.
“The Edwin Flack Bridge truly celebrates Melbourne Park’s unique sporting heritage. Not only is it named after Australia’s very first Olympic Gold medallist, but additionally, two sets of Olympic Rings from the 1956 Melbourne Games hang from the bridge over Olympic Boulevard.
“One set of the rings was originally hung on the Olympic Park grandstand while the other was used on the grandstand for the Olympic velodrome on the site now occupied by AAMI Park.
“I’m delighted to see the bridge completed and getting a workout a year ahead of schedule,” Dr Napthine said.
Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty said the new bridge, Eastern Plaza and the National Tennis Centre were all part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s plan to give Melbourne the best sporting facilities in the world.
“Our aim is to make Melbourne Park the best of all Grand Slam venues, which we think the first stage alone will achieve,” Mr Delahunty said.
“The National Tennis Centre will provide 21 new indoor and outdoor courts as well as the latest gym and training facilities for players. On the other side of the precinct work is well underway to build an operable roof for Margaret Court Arena, making Melbourne the only Grand Slam venue with three roofed arenas.
“Spectators at the 2013 Australian Open will notice the improvements made to the entries of Hisense Arena while the Eastern Plaza will provide another large public space for all kinds of activities during the event.
“The work accomplished this year by the project teams will definitely make the 2013 Australian Open one of the best ever for players and patrons alike,” Mr Delahunty said.Watch the video of the bridge being installed