Rail trail project be­gins

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By JUSTIN JENVEY BYJUSTIN JENVEY jjen­vey@ne­me­dia.com.au

ONE of the biggest in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ments in the Indigo Shire is mov­ing ahead with works get­ting un­der­way in Beech­worth re­cently.

The works are part of the $6.2 mil­loin Beech­worth to Yackan­dan­dah/Os­bornes Flat rail trail, a fea­ture of the larger re­gional North East Vic­to­ria Cy­cling Op­ti­mi­sa­tion project.

The early works in Beech­worth are to seal ex­ist­ing path and in­stall cul­verts along Spring Creek from Bill­son Street to Peach Drive.

Indigo Shire Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Trevor Ierino said there was a lot of plan­ning in­volved in the 31 kilo­me­tre, three­year project.

“Var­i­ous sec­tions of the trail will be built at dif­fer­ent times, and there will be com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tions around each sec­tion be­fore work be­gins,” Mr Ierino said.

“The more sub­stan­tial work on sec­tions will be­gin in Jan­uary af­ter ap­provals and plan­ning is com­plete for the first sec­tions.

“This is a mas­sive project with far-reach­ing ben­e­fits to our two towns of Beech­worth and Yackan­dan­dah, Woor­agee vil­lage and points in be­tween.

“It will bring more vis­i­tors to the re­gion, fam­i­lies, walk­ers and the more se­ri­ous cy­clists.”

Tourism North East and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Vic­to­ria are lead­ing the North East Vic­to­rian Cy­cling Op­ti­mi­sa­tion Project which will help de­liver world class cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture and ac­ti­va­tion across Alpine, Be­nalla, Indigo, Towong, Wan­garatta, Mans­field and Wodonga lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas.

In the 2017-18 bud­get the State Gov­ern- ment ded­i­cated $12 mil­lion to stage one of the project.

Along with build­ing the Beech­worth to Yackan­dan­dah/Os­bornes Flat rail trail, the first stage of the plan in­cludes en­hanc­ing ex­ist­ing trails, mar­ket­ing for broad aware­ness and tar­geted seg­ment-spe­cific cam­paigns, and sup­port for a cycle hub and for other pri­vate sec­tor busi­ness ac­ti­va­tion.

North East Vic­to­ria boasts the two long­est rail trails in Vic­to­ria, The Great Vic­to­rian Rail Trail and the Mur­ray to Moun­tains Rail Trail.

The Mur­ray to Moun­tains trail is rated the best in the na­tion in terms of qual­ity of trail sur­face, scenery, and sup­port­ing prod­ucts and ex­pe­ri­ences.

Cur­rently 100,000 cy­clists visit the North East each year, with that num­ber pro­jected to rise to 255,000 by 2025.

The Beech­worth to Yackan­dan­dah/Os­bornes Flat rail trail project will of­fi­cially be launched by Ja­clyn Symes (MLC, North­ern Vic­to­ria) at an event at the Sandy Beach carpark at Lake Sam­bell, at 1pm to­day.

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