By Jessica Carrascalao Heard
Construction of permanent security barriers on Princes Bridge has started, with steel bollards and reinforced reinforced blocks to be installed on both sides of the bridge.
Since construction started in mid-January, the footpath on the western side of the bridge has been closed, with pedestrians having to cross the road to get over the river.
The bicycle lane on the western side is also closed during the day, forcing cyclists and motorists to share a single traffic lane between 9am and 4.30pm in January, and 9.30am and 4.30pm in February and March. The bicycle lane remains open during peak times and overnight.
The 88 block-shaped barriers will replace the temporary water filled barriers which currently line St Kilda Rd across Princes Bridge.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said: “As well as keeping people safe, a high priority for Princes Bridge is ensuring we maintain its significant heritage value.”
Unlike with the temporary concrete barriers in place around the CBD, graffiti and artwork will not be tolerated on the permanent barriers.
A City of Melbourne spokesperson said any changes to permanent security measures on Princes Bridge would need Heritage Victoria approval.
“City of Melbourne will remove graffiti, artwork, fabric covers or paint from permanent bollards or barriers,” the spokesperson said.
Once work has finished on the western side in March, work will start on the eastern side of the bridge.
Security upgrade construction also restarted at Flinders Street Station in January, with 20 steel bollards and an eight-metre barrier to be installed.
This is in addition to 33 steel bollards installed last year.
There are also plans to widen the pedestrian crossing over Flinders St on the western side of Swanston St and to also expand the forecourt at the station to 130sqm.
Construction at Flinders Street Station will mainly happen overnight, from 8.00pm to 6.00am.