Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore rail trail

Linking central Victoria via the old railway line

Swing bridge replacement close to opening

The bridge replacing the old swing bridge across Axe Creek is nearly complete and should be open in March. The foundations are ready, the deck is being assembled in Bendigo and the contractor is awaiting fine weather to get the crane on site to complete the bridge.

The replacement of the swing bridge was the result of a personal invitation from the Friends to some councillors to come and see the state of this bridge for themselves.

The swing bridge was built in 1993 through state government job training program. Nearly twenty years later, it was getting tired. It was also narrow and, being a suspension bridge, a little unstable underfoot, with approaches that were steep and tricky to negotiate.

The Friends, supported by local horse riding clubs, made a submission to the council not to spend any more on the bridge and make its replacement a priority. An engineer’s assessment confirmed what the Friends had been arguing – it was time to upgrade. So funds already earmarked for an upgrade to the approaches, were instead redirected towards a new bridge.

The new bridge crosses the creek at the same level as the trail. No longer will trail users have to slide down a steep bank to access the bridge and then climb up to the trail on the other side. It’s an exciting development that will open to bridge to people who weren’t able to cross in the past: recumbent bikes, bikes with tag-alongs, prams and wheel chairs among them.

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