Harrietville to Bright Shared Trail

Project introduction

A shared trail linking Bright and Harrietville has been a long-term strategic goal of the Alpine Shire and the Upper Ovens Valley community.

Council secured $1million in funding from the State Government for this project following the 2013 bushfire, resultant flood and Great Alpine Road closure.

Stage One of the project involves the construction of two 5km trails at the Bright and Harrietville ends, due for completion by the end of 2014.

Construction of the trail from the Harrietville end began in late March 2014.

Project Update - November 2014

Click here to see full project update.

Approximate schedule - Harrietville (weather permitting)

Week Section Works
Week 1 - 24 March - 29 March Service Road Tree pruning (street trees) Prep and pavement
Week 2 - 31 March - 4 April Newmans Lane - Frasers paddock Tree pruning (private property and hedge removal) Prep and pavement
Week 3 - 7 April - 11 April Frasers paddock - Frosty Corner Prep and pavement
Week 4 - 14 April - 18 April Frasers paddock - Frosty Corner, Service Road - Frasers paddock Prep and pavement Bitumen sealing
Week 5 - 21 April - 25 April Frosty Corner - Stony Creek Prep and pavement
Week 6 - 28 April - 2 May Frosty Corner - Stony Creek Prep and pavement
Week 7 - 5 May - 9 May Frosty Corner - Stony Creek, Frasers paddock - Stony Creek Prep and pavement, Bitumen sealing

What we have heard from the community

Following the appointment of a Project Reference Group (PRG) in mid-2013 and subsequent community meetings in Bright and Harrietville, Council has indentified a number of key communitiy priorities for this project:

* The need for the trail to be a valuable tourism offering, attracting visitors to the area and providing an economic boost;
* The trail is more than simply a link between two towns - the user experience is very important;
* Support for making the most of the river environment, away from the Great Alpine Road and traffic;
* Also support for an option nearer to the Great Alpine Road (HA) which provides elevated views and good amenity;
* Concerns about road safety and gradients;
* Support for farming operations and landowners, and recognition of the impact of some alignment options;
* Concerns about ongoing maintenance costs and flooding risk;
* The long-term goal of linking Harrietville and Bright is very important; and
* The community wants to be informed about the evaluation / assessment process.

General Information

The extensive network of tracks and trails throughout the Alpine Shire support access to a range of nature-based recreation activities, including walking and cycling, within the visually rich landscape of the Ovens and Kiewa Valleys.

The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail running between Wangaratta and Bright and connecting to Beechworth is recognised as the flagship shared trail of northeast Victoria. Expanding this network of tracks and trails is a key strategy of the Alpine Shire, delivering improved local connectivity, promoting activity and supporting economic growth through tourism.

Construction of a shared trail from Harrietville to Bright is a long term aspiration of the community that is envisaged to stimulate the local economy through increased participation in cycle tourism.

The trail will connect the communities between Bright and Harrietville including Smoko, Freeburgh and Germantown providing locals with safe pedestrian and cycling access throughout the Upper Ovens Valley.

Initial scoping for the Harrietville to Bright shared trail carried out in 2011 highlighted a number of constraints limiting alignment options including the absence of an uninterrupted corridor of public land and the potential for environmental impacts associated with the Ovens River.

While the shared trail can be constructed in the Great Alpine Road corridor there are a number of sections where this is insufficient in width.

Consequently realising the trail will require a combination of alignments including use of the Great Alpine Road corridor, public land associated with the Ovens River where possible and in some cases over private land where granted..

Construction of the entire trail over the 22 kilometres between Harrietville and Bright was estimated at $2.5 million, (2011).

In response to the January 2013 Harrietville Bushfire the Victorian State Government has provided $1 million dollars to commence implementation of the trail.

Recognising that the first 5 to 6 kilometres of shared trails are the most used portions it was determined that delivering two sections, one commencing in Harrietville and one commencing in Bright would deliver the most benefit.

The two sections for Stage 1 are defined as:

• Pioneer Park Harrietville to Stony Creek, (Trout Farm) - approx 5 kms

• Centenary Park Bright to Germantown - approx 5.5 kms.

For further information please contact Council's Senior Project Engineer Drew Carey, drewc@alpineshire.vic.gov.au

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