A huge new collaborative art piece, painted by local and Wurundjeri artists, has been unveiled along the Chandler Highway bridge underpass as the finishing touches continue on this important upgrade.
The continuous 60-metre-long artwork is now complete which reflects the cultural heritage of the Yarra River and its ongoing importance to the Aboriginal community.
Primary artists Ash Firebrace and Tom Civil were selected to create the public piece having previously worked together on projects at Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court and a 150-metre-long mural beside the Maribyrnong River.
Created in consultation with Aboriginal elders, the design celebrates the local flora and fauna and tells the Wurundjeri story as told by Barak of how the Yarra River was formed.
Now complete, the artwork which took four weeks to create, has been treated with an anti-graffiti coating to ensure it is protected against vandalism and can be enjoyed by the public for years to come.
The underpass connects with a new ramp from the Main Yarra Trail to Yarra Boulevard which also opened today and replaces 70 steps ensuring safer access for both cyclists and pedestrians. Landscaping work will be completed later this year.
The new bridge was opened to traffic in October 2018 with all six lanes opening in mid-March 2019, providing the 44,000 motorists who travel over the bridge every day with travel time savings of as much as 10 minutes.
The Andrews Labor Government’s Chandler Highway Upgrade is due to be complete in late-2019.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“The Yarra River plays an important part in Aboriginal culture and history and is an important tributary which provides resources for the Wurundjeri people, and this 60-metre-long artwork reflects that importance.”
“The mural not only makes the bridge and its underpass a nice place to be, it connects the community to the cultural heritage of the traditional owners.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous
“Throughout the project engineers have worked with Traditional Owners to consult on this project, and the creation of this large-scale mural is a continuation of that collaboration.”
Quote attributable to Member for Ivanhoe Anthony Carbines
“We want to ensure that long after we have completed the project, the bridge and the connecting paths for cyclists and pedestrians remain a place the local community can enjoy.”