Planning Minister Matthew Guy today officially opened Melbourne’s newest iconic bridge, named after the city’s adopted son, footballer and philanthropist Jim Stynes.
Mr Guy and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle joined the Stynes family, players from the Melbourne Football Club and members of the Reach Foundation to unveil the innovative, 120 metre bridge at Docklands.
“I am delighted to open the new Jim Stynes Bridge, a fitting tribute to this outstanding man, footballer and philanthropist. This bridge ensures that Jim’s work is alive in the hearts and minds of all Melbournians,” Mr Guy said.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the Jim Stynes Bridge would be a reminder of the contributions that the 2010 Melburnian of the Year made to our city.
“Jim Stynes represented the quintessential Melbourne story: a migrant made good. The story of his settling in Melbourne, his outstanding AFL career, his philanthropy and charity work, and his brave fight against cancer touched us all and I am proud to join the Minister and Jim’s family in opening the bridge in his honour today,” the Lord Mayor said.
The bridge has an innovative design that creates the illusion the span is hovering, unsupported above the Yarra River. It was designed by a consortium, led by the Aurecon Group in partnership with Cox Architecture and Oculus Landscape Architects. A bronze plaque at each end features the story of Jim’s football career and work with the Reach Foundation.
“I’m sure the bridge will become a much visited, iconic part of Melbourne’s riverfront as well as providing a vital connection from the city at Spencer Street to Docklands along the Yarra River. This is the centrepiece of the $25 million redevelopment of the Yarra’s north bank and creates a connection for Melbourne’s cycling network and pedestrians, linking the city, the Northbank waterfront, Docklands and Southbank,” Mr Guy said.
Jim Stynes was an exemplary footballer who went on to become President of the Melbourne Football Club. He was a co-founder of the Reach Foundation and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his work with Victorian youth. He passed away in 2012 after a long battle with cancer.