Negotiations and design have been going on for years to bridge this gap across to the section down to Lilydale station, which would make the trail far safer and more convenient to access for visitors and more usable for local residents.
So it was fantastic news to hear Johan Scheffer, Upper House Member for Eastern Victorian Region announce in August a $1.5 million funding boost from the Brumby Government to complete the bridge.
This provides enough funding for the $3.5 million project to construct a new steel pedestrian bridge with funding contributions from VicRoads ($2 million), Parks Victoria ($1.3 million) and the Shire of Yarra Ranges ($0.2 million).
The design caters for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge will be 3m wide to reflect the high usage of the rail trail and will have 1.7m high sides.
VicRoads is currently in the preconstruction phase of the project and is preparing specification requirements and a planning permit application to remove vegetation impacted by the bridge. Subject to the approval of the planning permit from the Shire of Yarra Ranges, construction of the bridge is expected to commence in the second half of 2009 and will take approximately 12 months to complete.
Please write to the Victorian Premier and Shire of Yarra Ranges to express your appreciation of this commitment to the rail trail.