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Tourism drawcard re-opened

Recovery project: Morwell MLA, Russell Northe and DSE’s Land and Fire Area manager Grange Jephcott stand in front of the now open bridge between Mirboo North and Boolarra.

THE Grand Ridge Rail Trail officially re-opened on Friday after it was severely impacted by the January 2009 Delburn Complex fire.
Morwell MLA Russell Northe, representing Deputy Premier Peter Ryan MP and Ryan Smith, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, cut the ribbon at one of two 66 metre steel span bridges installed along the trail.
“These magnificent bridges are much bigger than their predecessors and have been installed at points where steep gullies had previously made the trail impassable for the mobility impaired and those on bicycles. The trail is now accessible for all for the first time,” Mr Northe said.
Department of Sustainability and Environment’s Land and Fire Area manager Grange Jephcott said the trail played an important part in the regional community.
The two bridges are just a hallmark of the trail, according to Mr Northe.
“We have made amazing progress due to the work of the community. It is those people who have a passion for the rail trail,” he said.
The trail continues to be a tourism drawcard and recreational asset for the area.

Public ceremony: Gippsland MP Darren Chester, Rail Trail committee of management chairperson Neal Trease and Morwell MLA Russell Northe were delighted to cut the ribbon to officially open the Grand Ridge Rail Trail.

“It is an exciting day for the Boolarra and Mirboo North communities and the whole area,” Mr Northe said.
The redevelopment was assisted with State Government funding of $1.6 million from Regional Development Victoria and the DSE.
The bridges were designed, manufactured and installed by local companies: Chris O’Brien and Company (Traralgon), Strzelecki Engineering (Mirboo North) and Hourigan and Walsh (Traralgon).
Mr Northe also took the opportunity to acknowledge the dedication of the Wednesday Warriors volunteers who worked tirelessly to re-instate and upgrade the track as part of the bushfire recovery.
Along with the new bridges, the entire 13 kilometre track was resurfaced with a thicker substance to make it more durable through wetter weather.
Rail Trail committee  of management chairperson Neal Trease was elated to finally reopen the trail.
“Working with local companies to get the work done was also a huge bonus – their local knowledge made getting the job done so much easier,” Mr Trease said.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=2925

Posted by on Feb 15 2012. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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