Due to severe weather a short section of the East Gippsland Rail Trail near Orbost between Preston Rd and Burn Rd has been closed while repairs are taking place. A large section of embankment has been destroyed due to excessive water, and a large number of large trees have also fallen on the trail.
Whilst most of the trees have been removed, there are many and this well take time. The damage to the embankment is more permanent however. A preliminary engineering assessment puts the repair cost at around $130,000 which is large and unexpected.
This is a significant setback for the trail especially as there is no funding available, and so it is hard to see an immediate visible solution to this expensive problem.
In the meantime there is a short detour in place through part of the town of Newmerella.
Trail Closure description: the last kilometre of the trail at the eastern end is closed due to a major washout caused by flooding. The rest of the trail has been cleared of trees and is open.
Diversion: the trail is closed at Prestons Rd and signed as such. Travelling towards Orbost the diversion is to:
travel south on Prestons road to the Princes Hwy ( approx 300m) then
travel east on the Princes Hwy (approx 300 m) – there is a wide shoulder and it is an 80 kph speed limit to turnoff to Burn Rd on the left – it is immediately past the Shell Service Station.
Turn left onto Burn Rd and follow down the hill approx 1 km to the Rail Trail track head at the bottom of the hill. Burn Rd is a very low traffic local road.
A great side trip is to turn right onto Grand View Rd and follow for approx 1 km to the lookout of the same name – well worth it!
Travelling to Bairnsdale from Orbost follow the above directions in reverse.
The Google map on the rail trail description accurately shows this diversion in red – Prestons Rd is the short arm running north off the highway. Burn Rd is incorrectly labelled Grandview Rd by Google: Grandview Rd is the unlabelled road in between Burn Rd and the highway.