A NEW Principal Shared Path (PSP) including two underpasses will be built from Hutton Street to Glendalough Station as part of the Mitchell Freeway widening project.
The State Government announced on Sunday that work on the $40 million Mitchell Freeway project that involves adding a lane between Cedric and Vincent streets would start within months.
It will be jointly funded by the State ($8 million) and Commonwealth ($32 million).
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti followed that announcement by confirming the State would build the $19 million, 2km PSP from Hutton Street to Glendalough Station at the same time as the freeway upgrade to avoid further traffic disruptions.
“The PSP is funded by the State but we’ve combined the work in to the contract with the road widening,” Ms Saffioti said.
“The cycling community came to us and said the focus has to be on the PSP network because in a lot of areas it’s difficult to ride, there’s significant congestion or the path just ends.”
As part of the upgrade, two intersection crossings will be removed and replaced with an off-road, continuous path and the section between the Glendalough Station footbridge and Roberts Street will feature a separated facility for riders and walkers on the PSP network, which will include a 4m wide path for riders and a 2m wide path for walkers.
Detailed designs for the PSP, which will cater for high pedestrian movements to the train station as well as people riding to work, the city and attractions including Lake Monger and Herdsman Lake, will be presented to the Construction Reference Group in early 2019 before being finalised.
Two underpasses will be built at Hutton Street either side of the freeway and there will be a new bridge built at Scarborough Beach Road.
WestCycle Transport and Safety general manager Phil Taylor said the new PSP would benefit cyclists as well as people walking to Glendalough Station and the rest of the community.
Mr Taylor said the new underpass would replace “the notoriously dangerous Hutton Street and freeway on and off ramp crossings” that cyclists and walkers currently had to negotiate.
“The new path will be designed under new and improved design standards, that will be 4m wide and made from very smooth asphalt” he said.
“There will be a section of separated cycle-only and pedestrian-only paths between Glendalough Station and Roberts Street to ensure that conflict between people walking to the station and people riding past is kept to a minimum.”
Mr Taylor said the new PSP would make riding a much more attractive option than having to hustle your way onto a busy train or a congested freeway during peak hour.
“The path will also encourage more people to jump on a bike on the weekend and take leisurely rides around Lake Monger and Herdsman Lake with their families,” he said.