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Funding boost to reopen Main Yarra Trail following safety concerns

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith today announced $480,000 of funding to reopen the floating pontoon section of the Main Yarra Trail at Burnley.

The trail has been closed for safety reasons following a recent spate of cold mornings that resulted in the trail surface icing over and silt build-up under the trail between Barkley Avenue at Burnley and Punt Road at Richmond.

Mr Smith said the funding would assist Parks Victoria to fast-track works to reopen the popular trail.

"Cycling has become a way of life in Melbourne and we're keen to reopen this important trail along the Yarra, as soon as it is safe to do so," Mr Smith said.

"Parks Victoria is working closely with VicRoads, the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, and consulting key stakeholders like Bicycle Network Victoria, to resolve the issues that saw the trail closed."

Mr Smith said initial infrastructure works would begin on Friday.

"Initial infrastructure works include a focus on reducing the chances of ice forming on the trail, improved signage, line marking and surface cleaning," Mr Smith said.

"Planning has also been underway to address the silt build up under the floating pontoons, which has been one of the complexities of this issue. Surveys have been commissioned to identify the immediate areas of concern that may require dredging.

"Parks Victoria will work toward reducing the full closure for cyclists to part-time closures at low-tide following completion of ice mitigation works, which are expected to take two to three weeks. The trail will then be fully opened following dredging works.

"I'm aware of the inconvenience caused to the cyclists and pedestrians as a result of the closure of this very popular section of the Main Yarra Trail and have requested that Parks Victoria undertake these works as quickly as possible to expedite the safe return of cycling on this trail."

Mr Smith thanked cyclists and trail users for their patience.

Parks Victoria continues to work with Bicycle Network Victoria, City of Stonnington, City of Yarra and City of Melbourne on the safe management of the alternate cycling routes, while the trail is closed.

For further information and project updates visit Parks Victoria at www.parks.vic.gov.au/mainyarratrail or call 13 19 63.

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