Lindsay Love’s letter advocating the installation of a pedestrian underpass below Roughead Street for the GSRT (and your editorial comment calling for costing this option) raised some interesting points.
Ensuring the safety of rail trail users (and motorists travelling in the area) is a very real duty of care for the SGSC as managers of the trail just as sensibly managing expenditure is a very real duty of care to the ratepayers of the shire.
Whilst I would be interested to see the costs of installing an underpass and managing water ingress to it, I think it may make more economic sense to look at the planned future development of the Leongatha Heavy Vehicle Bypass and see if elements of that project might be brought forward.
The LHVB design has, I understand, a traffic light component to manage traffic flows in the area of this intersection which I think could very easily include a pedestrian-activated crossing as part of its sequencing.
This expenditure would therefore be part of a project that has already been planned and, one presumes, deemed worthy of completion in the future. Taking the traffic light component of this project and installing it now would therefore essentially be bringing forward future spending rather than adding new spending.
It would be a pity if the safe crossing of Roughead Street by rail trail users is not given a high priority as, without it, the GSRT will become two rail trails commencing/finishing in Leongatha rather than one continuous trail through South Gippsland.