Docklands dodges a bullet | Docklands News

Docklands News | May 4, 2022

* This article was published 10 years ago

Docklands shook a monkey last month when the specter of a stuffy bridge across the entrance to Victoria Harbor was finally brushed aside by the state government.

For the past decade, the Port of Melbourne Corporation has threatened to build a low rail bridge just downstream of Bolte Bridge with neither Labor governments nor the coalition of states ruling it out.

The bridge was designed to be just eight meters above the water and Docklanders were united in opposing the project because of its potential disruption to boat traffic.

A year ago the Coalition Government’s announcement that Hastings would become Victoria’s second container port eased tensions in Docklands over the bridge.

But the plan was never officially abandoned until April 24, when Ports Minister Denis Napthine announced a major redevelopment of Webb Dock in Port Melbourne.

The government announced a $1.2 billion expansion of Webb Dock and the creation of 2,600 jobs.

The announcement sparked fresh fears that the rail bridge will be put into operation to move freight across the river to the port’s main cargo handling facilities at its Dynon operation.

Asked by Docklands News at a press conference, Dr Napthine said none of the additional one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers expected at Webb Dock would be transported by rail.

He said all freight would be loaded onto trucks, which would access the Westgate Freeway via purpose-built port access roads.

Premier Ted Baillieu explained that the Webb Dock expansion was an interim measure while Hastings Port is commissioning.

Port officials said the rail bridge option was considered but ultimately the decision was influenced by the state’s major importers who typically had cargo terminals a short distance away and preferred the road delivery •

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