The City of Greater Bendigo has confirmed work on an underpass at a busy road and rail bridge will begin early this year.
It is a project welcomed by the president of a local cycle path advocacy group who has declared the current crossing “dangerous”.
Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail president Garry Long’s group had been advocating for a cycling underpass at Abbotts St and the McIvor Highway.
“I think this is great news for the cycling community and pedestrians in Bendigo,” he said.
“It’s quite a dangerous place where people have to cross … it’s not a safe area. You can see people trying to dodge cars there on a daily basis – both pedestrians and bike riders.”
Mr Long said the project would be the “missing link” in wider plans to create an unbroken link between the Bendigo Railway Station via Williamson St and the O’Keefe Rail Trail, as well as the cycle and pedestrian path along the creek to Spring Gully.
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Council engineering manager Brett Martini said designs for the project were complete and work was expected to start early in 2018.
“The project has involved extensive negotiation with the relevant authorities, meaning it has taken approximately 18 months to reach the stage where works can soon begin,” he said.
“The design for the project is complete and has been approved by rail authorities, the North Central Catchment Management Authority and VicRoads.”
Mr Martini said the city had secured partial funding from the Transport Accident Commission.
The project would see the modification of the creek bed to provide overhead clearance of the significant telecommunications infrastructure under the pedestrian bridge.
“The city has also worked with VicTrack and V/Line to ensure continued safety of the rail infrastructure,” he said.
In recent years the council had invested funding in shared paths in Spring Gully. Mr Long said there was potential for the path to become a major corridor linking the O’Keefe to the Goldfields Track to Ballarat.
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