Creek works help protect iconic trestle bridge

Recent works at Stockyard Creek will help protect the iconic trestle bridge at a popular access point just downstream from Foster.

West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s Project Delivery Team Leader, Matt Bowler, said the river bed was damaged by flooding in July 2016.

“We applied for National Disaster Relief and Recovery funding from the Australian Government,” explains Matt.

“We received funding to complete rock beaching – which is placing rock in vulnerable spots to stop water chiselling away at the bank of the creek.

“During future floods water would have continued to chip away at the bank, exposing the footings of the old trestle bridge and potentially compromising them beyond repair.”

The work not only protects the old trestle bridge, but also the new bridge currently used on the rail trail.

“If the supports from the old trestle bridge were to get swept downstream during a flood, it could seriously damage the newer bridge,” continued Matt.

Jack Pearce, Secretary of the Great Southern Rail Trail Committee of Management, said the work had essentially saved the iconic trestle bridge at that point.

“This is a popular photo spot and turnaround point for visitors to the rail trail,” said Jack.

“We’re very grateful that this work has been done and as a committee we’ll be applying for funds to do further work in that area.

“We would like to conduct some weed control, revegetate and improve amenities in the area.”

The rock beaching involved placing 150 cubic metres of rock at the footings of the trestle bridge and up on the bank of Stockyard Creek.

This work will make the Creek more resilient in future floods and help prevent downstream damage.

Group shot on the rail trail
Project delivery team leader, Matt Bowler with Great Southern Rail Trail Secretary Jack Pearce and Anne Callahan.
Before works were completed at Stockyard Creek, water was eroding the creek bed under the trestle bridge
After works were completed rock helps protect the creek bed from erosion
Before works were completed at Stockyard Creek, water was eroding the creek bed under the trestle bridge
After works were completed rock helps protect the creek bed from eroding, this also protects the footings of the trestle bridge