Rail trail budget comes up short

Wattle Range Council will consider a staff recommendation tonight (Tuesday) to add an extra $500,000 to the $2.1m needed to construct the Penola/Coonawarra bike and walking trail along the disused rail line.

The extra funds will allow for all current variations to the project and complete all four stages.

The alternative staff recommendation to the July monthly meeting in Millicent is to reduce the scope of the project by deleting works to complete stage three which is the section from Glenroy Bool Lagoon Road to Penola Hundred Line and not install footpath lighting as proposed for stage four within the Penola township.

Meanwhile, timber sleepers appear to be causing challenges for the construction of the Penola Coonawarra rail trail.

Wattle Range Council engineering services director Peter Halton has outlined the issues in a report to council.

“Some concerns have been raised with the contractor over the surface in stage one between the Riddoch Highway (Penola Bypass) and the Coonawarra Siding,” Mr Halton said.

“A number of minor depressions have formed in the surface that are not safety concerns, however they do impact on the ride quality of the trail.

“The contractor and Wattle Range Council representatives have investigated the concerns and most seem to relate to areas in which the sleepers are rotting away.

“A final decision on what to do about this issue is still being considered however the council must consider the potential that a rectification of this issue may come with a financial impact.”

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