Tweed Shire Council is optimistic its planned rail trail can be completed by September 2020, following a successful start to the tender process last week.
Some 27 representatives from 19 construction and consultancy companies and a vegetation management company attended a Council workshop to learn more about the proposed first stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek.
At the workshop, Council released the short video above showcasing the route and scenery along the way.
The workshop gave tenderers an insight into the proposed rail trail and highlighted some of the design and construction challenges.
The construction companies now have until December 12 to respond to with Expressions of Interest.
Around February next year, Council will short-list three to four companies to tender. The contract will be awarded around May, with construction to start about June 2019 for completion by September 2020.
‘We were very pleased with the diversity and depth of construction expertise that today’s workshop attracted, with obvious rail bridge and civil engineering expertise in the room,’ rail trail project director Iain Lonsdale said.
‘The questions from the floor demonstrated a keen desire of prospective tenderers to understand the detailed design and construction challenges of the project, explore on-rail and off-rail formation opportunities and to manage community expectations and adjacent landowner needs throughout.’
Prospective tenderers got a bird’s eye view of the condition of the corridor via the video, detailing the major design and construction challenges, such as: difficult topography; significant grades; flood-prone land; landslips and scours; numerous creek crossings; historic bridges with spans missing; and overgrown vegetation.
The Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek rail trail is 24-kilometres long, winding through the villages of Stokers Siding, Burringbar and Crabbes Creek. It features two tunnels, one 523-metres long with ecological values that need to be managed during design and construction; 27 bridges, of which 18 are significant in size or construction method; and, several heritage items.
The Northern Rivers Rail Trail, stage 1 from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek, is fully funded by the federal and state governments and supported by Tweed Shire Council.
To have your say, visit www.yoursaytweed.com.au/RailTrail.