A new pedestrian crossing will be installed at Gilles Street in Warrnambool, thanks to a $300,000 state government commitment.
The passive maze crossing will provide a shorter route between the city and the foreshore.
There have been calls for the pedestrian crossing to reopen after it was closed and it was the focus of of a petition to the state government.
Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said the Gilles Street access road had historically been used by pedestrians to access the waterfront prior to the installation of physical barriers to deter trespassers due to safety concerns.
V/Line has already completed initial site inspections and detailed designs for the pedestrian crossing. Contractor Sterling Infrastructure has been appointed to complete construction of the new crossing, with works expected to be completed in the coming months.
"We've listened to the feedback, and after significant investigations and work behind the scenes, we are thrilled to be making this announcement," Mr Carroll said. "Safety is always our number one priority so we've taken the time to ensure we can provide a safe option for pedestrians wanting to use this popular access to the waterfront."
Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney said the important upgrade would help keep some of the most vulnerable road users safe and create more direct access to our iconic waterfront in Warrnambool.
The funding was a win for common sense, according to Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell.
She welcomed the announcement but questioned why it had taken so long.
"The crossing is an important link between the city and our foreshore," Ms Britnell said.
"Public access has been closed for more than two years despite constant lobbying efforts, and now the government says it has listened to our community's calls for a crossing. This is a win for people power, but it does beg the question why it has taken since August, 2019, for the government to finally take action."
Ms Britnell said Victorians constantly heard about the billions of dollars being spent on transport infrastructure in the city.
She said she had worked closely with Warrnambool City Council in lobbying the state government to fund a new crossing.
"Having a direct link between the CBD and Lake Pertobe area is extremely important for south Warrnambool residents and indeed our entire community," she said. "Safety is of paramount importance, so this is a good result despite the fact it has taken so long."
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