Work underway on Edwin Flack Bridge
Pedestrians will soon have a new link between Melbourne Park and AAMI Stadium with work commencing on the new Edwin Flack Footbridge across Olympic Boulevard as part of the $366 million redevelopment of Melbourne’s premiere sporting precinct.
Minister for Major Projects Denis Napthine said the new Edwin Flack Bridge would also connect with a new public plaza to provide an unbroken pedestrian walkway between the MCG and AAMI Park.
“This bridge is a part of the $366 million first stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment that is transforming Melbourne’s sporting and entertainment precinct,” Dr Napthine said.
“The new bridge makes it easier for everyone to get around the tennis precinct and to travel between Melbourne Park, the MCG and AAMI Park.”
Named after Australia’s first Olympic champion Edwin Flack, Dr Napthine said the new bridge has a practical and historical significance.
“The bridge also re-establishes the link between Edwin Flack and the precinct. Flack lived in East Melbourne near the current Hilton Hotel and would have known the Melbourne Park area well. In addition, AAMI Park stadium was built on the former Edwin Flack Oval.
“The bridge will also feature two sets of Olympic rings from the 1956 Melbourne Games, further cementing it to the area’s sporting history.”
Dr Napthine said the first stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment was due to be completed in late 2014, and primarily comprises three elements including:
construction of the National Tennis Centre with eight indoor tennis courts, 13 outdoor tennis courts, a 1,000 space car park and an elevated Eastern Plaza public space with above-ground connections to both the MCG and AAMI Park;
an upgrade and expansion of Margaret Court Arena, including an extra 1,500 seats and a fully operable roof; and
the installation of a 4.5 megalitre water tank under the Oval with considerable associated landscape improvements.
Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty said the redevelopment of Melbourne Park was progressing extremely well and added that the Coalition Government had provided $ 5 million funding in the 2012-13 State Budget for scoping and early design works for Stage 2 of the project.
“The Melbourne Park redevelopment represents a commitment towards continuous improvement of our world-class sporting and entertainment infrastructure,” Mr Delahunty said.
The bridge spans will be installed in sections between now and mid-October with the project expected to be complete and open for use in December 2012. The various spans will be lifted in overnight to minimise the inconvenience of closing Olympic Boulevard.