The beginning of a brand new year, and the beginning of a brand new rail trail.
Early this month Tweed Shire Council announced that clearing, slashing and spraying of weeds along the Northern Rivers Rail Trail corridor in noerthern NSW will allow tenderers for the project to gain access to the corridor.
Tweed Shire Council Rail Trail Project Manager Iain Lonsdale said the rail trail represents an exciting tourism infrastructure project for the community.
The corridor remains in the ownership of Transport for NSW, to preserve public ownership in case it is needed for a future public transport option.
Council will hold an initial design workshop with its four shortlisted construction companies this month. This will be followed by community information sessions, scheduled for February.
According to Iain Lonsdale, Council expects to receive a selection of competitive designs that meet community expectations and the needs of adjoining landowners.
The Northern NSW Branch Line from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek was formally closed on 15 October 2020. NSW Treasury signed a deed providing $7.8 million toward the Tweed section of the rail trail on 17 December, and returned it to Tweed Shire Council shortly before Christmas.
With the Australian Government executing a funding deed for $6.5 million in 2018 under its Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Package Fund, Council now has $14.3 million to complete the Tweed section of the rail trail. It also has secured a further $600,000 from the NSW Government to cover the cost of promoting, operating and embellishing the Tweed section for the first three years.