Tweed Shire Council is moving ahead with its contentious rail trail project, with the announcement that it has advertised for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from prospective tenderers to design and construct the first stage.
Tenderers have until December 12 to put up their hands.
The council will then shortlist three to four and ‘work with them to fully explore the objectives and opportunities presented by the joint federal and state government-funded project but also Council’s requirement to seek both on-track and off-track proposals,’ it announced in a verbose media release.
‘This two-stage tendering process will allow us to workshop the project information with the qualifying tenderers and discuss such matters as the Council resolution and its preference for an off-formation design,’ rail trail project director Iain Lonsdale said.
‘This will enable us to communicate clearly with those tenderers the full range of issues and opportunities available prior to them undertaking their own assessments. He added the EOIs would ‘capture opportunities around the design and construction of trail surfaces, new and rehabilitated bridges and culverts, treatments of existing tunnels, connecting pathways and interpretations of railway heritage elements’.
Council is expected to award the design and constructing contract early next year, with a view to construction of the Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek stage of the rail trail starting about June 2019.
Meanwhile, Council has begun talking with the rail trail villages of Stokers Siding, Burringbar, Mooball and Crabbes Creek about the rail trail and how it will affect them.
Rail Trail Community Conversations began in Uki last week and will continue in Burringbar and Stokers Siding this week. The Mooball / Crabbes Creek conversation will be held on Monday 19 November 2018. To check the dates and venues, visit https://yoursaytweed.com.au/openspace
‘The rail trail is a key element of Council’s Open Space Strategy as it will provide a recreational cycling and walking path between the Tweed villages and Murwillumbah, multiplying the open space available in the Tweed for community use,’ he said.
‘Council is currently seeking community input on the Open Space Strategy, in particular how it would prioritise individual open space upgrades over the next decade, and the rail trail is part of that conversation,’ Mr Lonsdale said.