If it is not the floods, it is the tide. Time and again riders on the Moonee Ponds Creek Trail have had to deal with a skittish, sandy surface as they approach the city through North and West Melbourne.
At last, there could be a solution.
Regular riders know that the creek in its lower reaches can spill over the trail during flooding, leaving debris and sand in its wake.
And even when not in flood, high tides can push back on a strong creek flow, again forcing water over the trail surface, especially in the low-level sections under the road and rail bridges.
Paradoxically, sandbags have been used to raise the barriers that keep the water out. This works until it doesn’t: the bags deteriorate and even more sand ends up on the path.
Now CityLink, which manages the trail downstream from Arden Street, has done the heavy lifting, replacing the sand bags with 1.1 tonne blocks to form a new, higher, and more durable barrier.
Concrete specialist Eifers Civil have provided the interlocking concrete blocks that can be installed one-on-the-other, or side-by-side to keep the water at bay.
An additional steel bar has been driven into place as a secondary restraint for the blocks.
Although not totally impervious to seepage, they have so far been successful at holding back the periodic tidal and flood flows.
Traces of sand have been observed, but nothing like previously.
Some 28 blocks, 1200 x 600 x 600, have been installed in this low-level section of path.
The blocks have previously been used on construction sites, but this is the first time the blocks have been placed anywhere on the trail network.
CityLink are assessing the performance of the area to observe whether there is any movement of the blocks, or any other issues.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.