The increasingly popular Great Southern Rail Trail through South Gippsland is to gain a 21 kilometre extension.
The State Government has announced a $6M project that will take the trail from Welshpool to Alberton, where it will meet an existing connection through to Yarram.
The work will be undertaken by the Wellington and South Gippsland Shire Councils.
The project will include bridges and water crossings and will utilise the former rail corridors across both shires.
Design and planning has started with construction set to get underway within the next twelve months.
Work is already underway on two other extensions to the Trail: Leongatha to Korumburra (21 km) and Korumburra to Nyora (15 km).
Once the new sections of trail have all been completed it will deliver a continuous length of 135 kilometres from Nyora through to Yarram – transforming the Great Southern Rail Trail into one of Australia’s longest rail trails.
The trail currently runs from Leongatha to Welshpool and is popular among locals and visitors, with more than 40,000 walkers, joggers and bike rider using it each year.
The extension was funded from the Regional Infrastructure Fund, aimed at helping businesses create more jobs in regional Victoria, supporting community projects and backing councils to build the infrastructure that locals and visitors need.
The stimulus round will boost local economies as they recover from the effects of the pandemic and create jobs while improving tourism and community infrastructure.
Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett said: “Projects like the Great Southern Rail Trail extension will make Gippsland an even better place to live, work, visit and invest.”
The new sections of trail will be opened progressively as they are during 2021 and into 2022.
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