October 15, 2019
Gympie Regional Council will spend $230,000 upgrading its section of the Rail Trail to address complaints about the trail’s walking surface.
The money will come from a $100,000 Works For Queensland grant and a further $130,000 set aside in this year’s Council budget.
The trail’s surface has attracted criticism for being littered with rocks and potholes ever since it opened in October 2017.
The upgrade will provide a smoother trail surface, along with improved rest areas.
However, a solution for an easy crossing over Wide Bay Creek has yet to be found.
At present, cyclists using the trail between Goomeri and Kilkivan are forced to dismount and carry their bikes across the creek.
The creek is classified as a “purple waterway” under Queensland legislation, the highest level possible, due to its environmental significance and high flow rates during floods.
Ideas suggested for the crossing have included stepping stones, bed level crossings, culvert options and alternative routes on nearby roads.
But according to a report tabled at a Council meeting last week, all have proven to be unsuitable or unachievable, and unlikely to secure State approval.
Gympie Regional Council is now examining the installation of a low-level pedestrian bridge or a suspension bridge to cross the creek.
However, construction of a bridge may need to wait until next year’s Council Budget.
[Photo: Rail Trails Australia]