A NUMBER of sections of the Great Southern Rail Trail project are expected to finish this spring, according to South Gippsland Shire Council.

Trail projects include the Leongatha to Korumburra link, Korumburra to Nyora extension and beyond and Welshpool to Alberton link.

At present, the Great Southern Rail Trail stretches 71 kilometres from Leongatha to Port Welshpool.

Works throughout the trail were broken up into three contracts:

• Rail and sleeper removal, completed in 2020.

• Works on four bridges – currently underway. Involves repairs or replacement of bridges and installation of new concrete decks and barriers.

• Trail works – currently underway. Involves drainage and fencing works; preparation of surface and installation of geotextile; installation of compacted gravel to provide similar surface to existing trail.

Current projects and features include:

Trail through Leongatha- includes links with existing trail to Port Welshpool and passes under Bair Street Road bridge; forecast opening spring 2021.

Trail through Korumburra- includes railway turntable and pedestrian tunnel under station yards; forecast opening late 2021.

Bena to Loch- in consultation with the Loch Nyora Landcare Group, council is constructing a small viewing platform at Hilda Falls that will enable rail trail users to safely view the falls from the trail; forecast opening late 2021.

Korumburra to Bena- includes two bridges, one over a private driveway and one over Main Road Bena; forecast opening early-mid 2022.

There are also potential plans for future connections through Lang Lang and ultimately at Clyde.

Earlier this year, the state government also announced $6 million in funding for the project, to create a continuous trail of 99 kilometres from Leongatha through to Yarram.  

This enables Wellington and South Gippsland Shire Councils to construct a new 21-kilometre trail between Welshpool and Alberton.

The project will include bridges and water crossings and will utilise the former rail corridors across both shires.

Council had also secured funding for:

Leongatha to Korumburra – A grant of $500,000 approved through state government’s Regional Infrastructure Fund; and

Korumburra to Nyora – A grant of $800,000 approved through the state government’s Local Sport Infrastructure Fund.

For more information on the project visit www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au/gsrt