Community connects over underpass

In February, the Carrum and Patterson Lakes Forum asked residents whether they would like to see a connection pursued between Patterson Lakes and Riverend Rd, Bangholme.  The project is overwhelmingly supported by the general public and stakeholders, including Cornish College, Craft and Co Farm, Melbourne Cable Park, and a host of other recreational-based clubs. 

  :  Calls are growing for a path under the Mornington Peninsula Freeway to connect Patterson Lakes and Riverend Rd, Bangholme. Photo courtesy Bauer Drone Footage.

: Calls are growing for a path under the Mornington Peninsula Freeway to connect Patterson Lakes and Riverend Rd, Bangholme. Photo courtesy Bauer Drone Footage.

With more than 700 kids at Cornish College and no other safe way to access the school on bike or foot, this project is needed for the peace of mind for Cornish College’s parents.  “The construction of the underpass will upgrade the existing goat track and address the safety concerns posed to users, including the students of Cornish College,” said forum founder Cameron Howe.

The current goat track can only be described as a slippery and very muddy track. As the proposed underpass addresses safety concerns, it’s warmly welcomed.  This underpass at Patterson River beneath the Mornington Peninsula Freeway is a project that the forum would like to see pursued in addition to pedestrian/cycling connections between Bonbeach-Harbour Town and Chelsea-Chelsea Heights to enhance the existing Longbeach Trail, which winds its way through the wetlands to Patterson River.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is leading a masterplan exercise for Patterson River that includes land on the northern bank under the freeway bridge, which is owned partially by Melbourne Water and the Crown, and is managed by Melbourne Water.  On the southern bank is an established and well-maintained path with appropriate drainage.

“The community have been calling for this path for years,” said Kingston councillor Tamsin Bearsley.  “When built it will connect 44km of cycling trail while improving access to Cornish College and businesses on Riverend Rd.  We need to stop talking about this, work with the authorities and just get it done.”

The project area sits within the boundaries of both the City of Kingston (western side) and City of Greater Dandenong (eastern side).  Kingston Council has requested that the provision of the path be considered as part of the masterplan process and has supplied previous planning and design work it has undertaken.  Greater Dandenong Council is open to the concept of the project.

“Demand has been increasing to execute this missing link for years, which should be pursued with further cycling connections to enhance the popular Longbeach Trail,” Mr Howe said.  “A united and cohesive approach will enable us to end the bureaucracy.”