Chris Southwell (left) and Gympie's Garry Williamson ready to walk the Kilkivan rail trail which is getting a $230k helping hand.
Chris Southwell (left) and Gympie's Garry Williamson ready to walk the Kilkivan rail trail which is getting a $230k helping hand. Rowena Robertson

Troubled Gympie region rail trail gets a $230k fix

THE Kilkivan Rail Trail's troubled walking surface is getting an upgrade thanks to more than $200,000 in funding, but a solution to a key crossing continues to elude the Gympie Regional Council.

The trail's surface has come under fire in the past for being littered with rocks, holes, deep sand and even railroad spikes.

Now the council has secured $100,000 in state funding from its Works for Queensland program to improve the surface and rest areas on the walk.

It is in addition to $130,000 already set aside for surface work and fixing the troublesome Wide Bay Creek crossing.

 

The start of the Kilkivan rail trail.
The start of the Kilkivan rail trail. Rowena Robertson

The creek is classified as a "purple waterway" under the state's legislation, the highest level possible.

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A report tabled at this week's council workshop said this was due to the creek's "environmental significance... and high flow velocities in times of flood".

Many ideas have been put forward including stepping stones, bed level crossings, culvert options and alternative routes on nearby roads; all have "proven to be unsuitable or unachievable" and unlikely to secure state approval.

Options now on the table are a suspension bridge or low level pedestrian bridge.

 

Gympie Councillor Hilary Smerdon. Gympie Regional Council
Councillor Hilary Smerdon. Renee Albrecht

Specialist engineers and environmental experts have been brought in by the council to find a solution.

Councillor Hilary Smerdon welcomed the wider investment.

He said the trail could be brought up to scratch if it was all sunk into the trail.

"I just want it spent on doing the work and not on consultants," he said.

"It's a great trail and it would get a lot of use if it was finished properly."