Healesville Freeway Reserve

Background

Update May 2022

Parks Victoria has invited tenders for the design of the park within the reserve.

The Healesville Freeway Reserve (HFR) consists of 35 hectares of undeveloped land that runs for 3.5 kilometres from Springvale Road in Forest Hill to Boronia Road in Vermont – see map below.

Following strong community interest in keeping the land as public open space the government has committed to retain the land in public ownership for its future use as parkland.

The recently published Concept Plan for the Reserve includes a shared path along the entire length of the Reserve.

MeBUG will be seeking to be included in the next stage of detailed planning of the actual alignment of the path.
 
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Update April 2022

The Healesville Freeway Reserve trail is to be completed in 2024. It will traverse the 3.5 kms of former Reserve land that runs east-west between Boronia Road and Springvale Road, south of Hawthorn Road. The east end is right by the  Dandenong Creek Trail, and access to the Pipe Track and Hawthorn Road is not far away on the west. It will be a really valuable link as well as a conduit for walkers and cyclists to local schools. 

Elaine Hopper is attending the Parks Victoria meetings as a Community Reference Group member. In her submission, Elaine listed desirable features for the trail, and  also forwarded a route suggested by MeBUG member David Hall.  David also prepared a document about an option to use the pedestrian bridge near Elgar Road as a treetop bridge over the entire Bellbird Dell. The bridge is shortly to be decommissioned as part of Eastern Freeway works. Such a bridge would  preserve the Dell from the construction of a trail on the ground that we believe will be more  intrusive to the vegetation and animals of the Dell and awkward for cyclists.  It could be a great feature of the park. 

There is, however, only a $9 million budget which may include works other than the cycle path and, of course, there are many people with ideas for various other  amenities in the park. The cycle path is non-negotiable; its precise route and surface is not yet determined.

The next Community Reference Group session is scheduled for late April 2022 with presentation of a draft Park Layout Plan in June or July 2022.

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