The finishing touches have been put on Templestowe’s signature River Peel sculpture, as the Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade powers towards completion.
A new garden, surrounding the plate steel sculpture, which was created in 2001, includes mulch and similar plants to those which surrounded the sculpture in its original location. Nine lights will be installed later this year on the ground around the River Peel, to shine a light on the unique and colourful public artwork so the gateway to Manningham can be experienced even once the sun goes down.
Measuring at more than four meters tall, the piece – created by artists Michael Bellemo and Catriona Macleod – has long evoked the image of the Yarra River curves, as it bends and turns through the area, and an apple peel, paying homage to the history of orchards in the Doncaster and Templestowe areas.
Major Road Projects Victoria worked closely with River Peel artists Mr Bellemo and Ms Macleod, Manningham Council, Parks Victoria, Department of Transport, and Wurundjeri as the Registered Aboriginal Party to relocate the River Peel site in the middle of last year.
Congestion is already easing along Fitzsimmons Lane, and travel reliability improved at the Porter Street and Fitzsimons Lane intersection, after it was converted to traffic lights along the busy route.
The sculpture unveiling comes as the Williamsons Road-Foote Street intersection is opened after major construction which saw three months’ of work in six weeks this winter.
Major works ran over six weeks across June, July and August, with the intersection at Foote-Williamsons in Templestowe upgraded with additional approach lanes and extended turn lanes. Finishing works around the intersection will continue until later in the year to complete asphalting, line-marking, signage installation and final utility works. Traffic management will be in place to keep workers and road users safe.
Once complete the Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade will create a smoother and more reliable journey for more than 60,000 motorists who use the road each day.
In addition to increased intersection capacity, construction will include installing safety barriers at key locations, and adding or renewing walking and cycling paths.
Fitzsimons Lane is a key link between Eltham and Templestowe, with the upgrade reducing congestion in peak periods to provide more reliable travel times, improving safety and making walking and cycling around the community safer.
The Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments and is due for completion by 2023.
With works on the Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade continuing into Spring, motorists are asked to plan their journey. For more information about planned disruptions over winter visit roadprojects.vic.gov.au/Fitzsimons