Narrow bridges

Rail trail reopens as bridges replaced ahead of schedule

Pictured L-R: Pat Robertson, Chairman of the Camperdown Timboon Rail Trail Management Committee, Greg Farmer, Committee Member, and Dean Finlayson, Council Infrastructure Projects Manager, on one of the new bridges .

The Camperdown Timboon Rail Trail is open again after bridges 11 and 12 were replaced earlier than planned.

Craig Fowler, the council’s infrastructure projects manager, said Melbourne contractor GR Design and Construction had completely replaced the two old wooden bridges.

“The bridges had reached the end of their useful life after being built by volunteers in the late 1990s, using mostly recycled wood.

“The council has worked closely with the Camperdown Timboon Rail Trail Management Committee to develop detailed designs that will enhance the experience for all trail users.

“The new bridges are steel structures with recycled composite railings, taller rails to accommodate riders, and rated weight so the committee can bring in maintenance machinery to tend the trail” , said Mr. Fowler.

Committee chairman Pat Robertson said a total of five bridges needed to be replaced at an estimated cost of $1.2 million.

“Now that we’ve built two bridges, there are three left to replace,” she said.

“DELWP has given us funding for one of these bridges, but the committee will also have to contribute.

“The County has been really good to us, submitting an RDV grant application. We will know the result at the end of the month.

Ms Robertson said the committee was negotiating with DELWP to widen the path to allow access with a vehicle for spraying weeds and transporting materials.

“We received a grant from the Corangamite CMA Wild Otways Initiative for a narrow enough trailer and spray unit,” she said.

“We built about 150m of boardwalk with students from the Gnurad Gundidj School for Student Leadership and they hauled all the wood for us.

Due to weight limits on the three bridges that need to be replaced, no horses are allowed between Merrett Road and Bridge 15, approximately 1 km north of the Trestle Bridge.

Motorcycles and trail bikes are also not permitted on the trail for safety and surface protection reasons.

The 34 km trail passes by spectacular remains of railway trestle bridges set in a beautiful rainforest. It also passes through attractive forests and cattle pastures.

It connects to the Twelve Apostles Trail in Timboon, allowing cyclists and walkers to reach the Port Campbell lookout.

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