The ongoing project to extend the O’Keefe Rail Trail in northern Victoria a futher 26km south to Heathcote is progressing well. Hopes are also high for a study to look at a further extension south to Wallan.
Great assistance is provided by the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail (FOBKRT) volunteers, both in the planning and design of the rail trail, along with physically putting in amenities such as historical signage. The group provides the updates below.
With the O’Keefe Rail Trail new causeway’s base now completed across Lake Eppalock, the final gravel type surface material is currently being applied for this Lake Eppalock – Derrinal area of the trail. While not currently open to the general public, it is hoped that this section will be opened in early January 2015, but will be dependant on the installation of certain new trail bridges. More detail closer to the date.
The City of Greater Bendigo Council’s contract for the manufacture and installation of five new trail bridges on the O’Keefe Rail Trail extension project has recently been awarded to contractor Open Space Infrastructure Australia P/L. These bridges are for the Knowsley-Derrinal-Heathcote sections of the new trail. The early indications are that the first of these bridges should be installed in early January 2015.
Information on the progress of the trail’s construction in the above area can be obtained from the City of Greater Bendigo Council on (03)54346000.
The Victorian Labor Party is committed to funding a $150,000 feasibility study for a Heathcote to Wallan Rail Trail, should the party be elected to govern at the 29th Nov elections. With an announcement being made by Euroa electorate Labor candidate Clare Malcolm and Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Development Jacinata Allan, and backed by local support funding from both the Mitchell Shire Council and the City of Greater Bendigo Council, this commitment is good news to advancing the trail proposal. That proposal is for this trail to be the link to networking the Melbourne Metro trail network with a number of major off-road trails in regional Victoria.