Following the devastating bushfires of February 2009 which destroyed a number of bridges in the Strzelecki Ranges, two local construction companies are involved in the replacement of two bridges on the Grand Ridge Rail Trail.
Hourigan and Walsh, a Traralgon bridge contracting company installed two 66-metre bridges each consisting of three 22-metre “Harbour Bridge” style spans. The spans were constructed by another local company, Strzelecki Engineering.
It took more than six hours to transport the first truss to the site at the Bair Creek crossing due to the need to cut a path through the vegetation and for the tractor to adjust the sliding truck.
The Grand Ridge Rail Trail management committee and locals alike are eagerly awaiting the completion of the project and the re-opening of the 13 km rail trail. Before the fires it was popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders and with these new bridges again linking the communities of Mirboo North and Boolarra, the trail will be an even bigger drawcard, says Neil Cartwright, secretary of the rail trail management committee. Everyone is looking forward to the expected opening of the trail at the end of August.
This $1.6 million project was funded by the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction Authority and the Department of Sustainability and Environment.