The Heatherdale to Syndal Pipe Reserve is a corridor of land running from Heatherdale to Syndal – see diagram below. It carries large Melbourne Water pipes underground. This corridor of land has long been recognised as a potential cycle path that could form a key part of a cycling network in the Monash and Whitehorse areas. MeBUG advocates have campaigned for this path since 2010.
For many years, development of the reserve was delayed by lack of agreement between Melbourne Water and municipal councils on the terms under which the reserve could be utilised. Those issues were eventually settled and Whitehorse Council allocated funds to begin the project in the 2016-17 financial year. Further funds have been allocated in the 2017-18 year for the section between Mahoneys Road and Norma Road Forest Hill.
At this stage, it is not clear what alignment will be adopted for the vicinity of Forest Hill College and around the Springvale Road – Canterbury Road intersection. MeBUG advocates are actively contributing to these plans.
Recently, VicRoads has embarked on a Strategic Cycling Corridors project as part of the state government $100M Safer Cyclists and Pedestrian Fund. It now appears that the entire Pipe Reserve path will be constructed as part of this project within the next 12 months. This is great news and means the project will be completed much sooner that would otherwise have been the case.
With the July/August 2020 works by the City of Monash there is now a 2.7km long section of contiguous off road path from High Street Road to Ballantyne Street Forest Hill. This a far safer option to cycling along the nearby Blackburn Road.
Update April 2022
Melbourne Water has announced plans to renew two major water mains along the reserve, to be completed by mid 2023. This will mean that some or all of the concrete shared paths constructed by Whitehorse and Monash councils, will be dug up. Melbourne water has given assurances that the paths will be reinstated ‘like for like’ and additional landscaping and tree planting undertaken.