Melbourne Park, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia, 24 September 2015 | Tennis Australia

Work has begun on the new Batman Avenue Bridge to Melbourne Park, the Minister for Sport John Eren announced today.

Fitzgerald Constructions Australia will build the bridge which creates a new pedestrian gateway to Melbourne’s sporting precinct.

The bridge will provide an express route from the CBD to Melbourne Park, cutting walking times from Flinders Street Station and Birrarung Marr to under 10 minutes. The bridge will also provide a safer route, avoiding the need for crowds to cross Batman Avenue at road level.

The bridge will ‘land’ in the heart of Melbourne Park with direct access to Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and Garden Square.

Construction of the bridge is expected to be finished in time for Australian Open 2017.

The Batman Avenue Bridge is part of the $338 million second stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment project along with the new Administration and Media Building and the refurbishment of Rod Laver Arena. Each of the three subprojects are being delivered under separate construction contracts.

The continuing improvements at Melbourne Park will ensure Victoria not only remains the home of the Australian Open for years to come, but continues to shine on the world stage, providing Victorians with the chance to enjoy the economic, social, participation and health benefits that major international events deliver.

The Australian Open generates an estimated $239 million in annual economic benefits for Victoria, together with 1440 jobs.