In 2014 the quartet of timber bridges over the Latrobe Floodplain just north of Traralgon were revamped for use thanks to a Victorian Government-funded project to upgrade the trail from Cowwarr to Traralgon. This was achieved within a tight budget of $730,000, including some track formation works. This trail relies heavily on the efforts of a volunteer committee that’s always hard pressed for funds to maintain the trail and to keep these historic timber bridges open for use.
Last year the committee installed an infrared-sensing Traker counter 500 metres north of the bridges on the critical section between Traralgon and Glengarry to collect objective evidence of what observation had already suggested – that the repair of the bridges has made this the most heavily used part of the trail. Early data indicate current visitor traffic at around 3000 a month. The low-key counter was installed in an old post next to a fence.
Rail Trails Australia can help with advice for any rail trail considering adding counters to get factual data on visitor numbers.