No immediate plans to repair O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail trestle bridge
The State Labor Government have no immediate plans to repair the fenced off O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail trestle bridge after deeming it ‘unsafe for public access’.
In 2021 State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish called on the government to ensure repairs to the bridge were made as a priority to give pedestrians safe access across the river and remove fallen trees.
Ms McLeish said, “The trestle bridge is an important crossing on the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail. The community are disappointed repairs to the bridge have not been made a priority.”
The Minister advised “Parks Victoria is currently undertaking detailed design work on the trestle bridge on the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail. Work to replace the bridge is scheduled to commence in 2022.” No further time frame or project details were provided.
Contradicting these comments, the Parks Victoria website reports, “Works to construct a new section of trail to bypass the bridge are due to commence in 2022 with completion expected by the end of 2023.”
Speaking in parliament, Ms McLeish called on the Minister to share Parks Victoria’s plans for the trestle bridge and confirm exactly what will happen to the bridge.
Ms McLeish said, “Comments are unclear as to whether the damaged bridge will be left, removed or replaced and when. Community member safety is at risk. Plans need to be clarified and made public.”
Before its closure, the trestle bridge crossing was commonly used by locals including children, cyclists, weekend tourists and even at times by elderly and people with prams. It was a scenic route for pedestrians and an important destination in Millgrove.
As a result of the closure, pedestrians and cyclists have been seen scrambling down the slope and up the other side. Ms McLeish said she has also been told trail users have been interfering with the cyclone fencing to access the dangerous bridge.
Ms McLeish continues, “People should not have to perform these dangerous acts to cross. Someone could be seriously injured.”
“The slope is in no way user friendly. To cycle from Dee Road to the trestle bridge is almost pointless due to the roadblock and getting a bike up and down the slope seems impossible and dangerous.”
“This is clearly a popular bridge. The State Labor Government need to act fast and make it a priority to reopen access to the public either via a secure bypass or repair the bridge,” Ms McLeish concludes.