A report by Aecom has shown that there would be economic benefits in building a tram extension with two bridges in the city of Port Phillip in Melbourne, Australia.

The Aecom report is part of a submission made by the council this month to an Australian parliament inquiry into the role of transport connectivity in stimulating development and economic activity.

Port Phillip would like to connect the city's central business district to the urban renewal area at Fishermans Bend, which is expected to become home to at least 80,000 residents and 60,000 workers over the next 40 years.

The tram route would cross the Yarra River and the West Gate Freeway and the estimated costs of building the bridges are US$72 million and US$57 million, respectively.

Port Phillip's mayor Bernadene Voss said that the independent report commissioned by council had found that early delivery of the US$215 million Collins Street tram extension could result in a US$790 million uplift in land values as well as extra revenue through rates and other contributions.

The bridges on the alignment are intended to provide walking, cycling and light rail connectivity, prioritising active and public transport modes. The river section would need to allow the passage of masted boats, either through a higher clearance or a moveable section.

Aecom has recommended a series of steps to develop the technical feasibility study for the bridges, including carrying out a preliminary design of the alignment.