The popular bike route along the Upfield rail line will close for an extended period in early February as work gets underway on the half billion dollar project to elevate a 2.5km length of the rail line in Coburg.
The trail will be closed off from Albion Street as far north as O’Hea from 6 February.
Two detour routes have being developed: one to the east and one to the west of the rail line.
The map indicates the intended diversions, which are being given a suite of treatments to prepare rider and drivers for the changes environment.
Among the improvements are detour signage along routes, speed humps on Barrow St, green bicycle treatment on Pentridge Blvd, new bike lane connection on Tinning St near Walters St, and added sharrows along entire detours.
The routes have been subject to an independent safety audit, and once treatments are finalised, and drivers and riders adjust to the new environment, they should operate satisfactorily, but obviously not to the same level of comfort as the Upfield Trail.
They will be closely monitored by project traffic engineers and Bicycle Network, and additional changes can be made if necessary.
Riders should be aware that until the middle of the year most of the construction works will involve setting up for the intensive construction occupation.
Then there will be three month surge of some of the most intensive construction activity Melbourne has seen, as the elevated rail structure with tracks and signalling is installed over Bell, Munro, Reynard Streets and Moreland Road in just three months.
This will inevitably be highly disruptive to travel through the precinct. Large numbers of trucks will be on Sydney Road. Large numbers of buses will be ferrying train passengers to and from Anstey Station—where trains will terminate from the inactive stations to the north.
During this full-on construction phase, Sydney Road will not be pleasant place for those bike riders who usually prefer to use it.
Once the trains are running again after the elevated track is up, there will still be many months of continuing construction as other elements of the project, including the new, first-class Upfield Trail under the tracks, are completed.
The trail will be open again by mid 2021.
Riders who ride to stations and take the train will also be impacted. Later in the year Moreland and Coburg Stations will close, and bike parking at alternatives is currently limited.
Project authorities are investigating opportunities for adding additional bike parking at other stations.