Features, Local planning

Birds replace bikes on flooded trail

After some very positive news on the Bay Trail, it was disappointing to see the following article coming from Bicycle Network, who have given permission for this article to be reproduced.

Bicycle Network, 21 OCTOBER 2021

Wildlife is again frolicking in floodwaters across the Federation Trail at Laverton North, exactly a year after the problem appeared fixed for good.

The trail has flooded again during recent rainfall, much to the consternation of riders who have had to detour on to the heavily trucked Pipe Road to get through.

Last year a major effort by contractors for Major Road Projects Victoria unblocked the drainage system in the low-lying area and the trail has been above water ever since.

But recently work has started on a major new freight terminal complex adjacent to the trail, with thousands of tonnes of fill raising the low-lying land to a much higher level, presumably to raise the new development above the potential flood risk.

Photo 1

Immediately thereafter the trail flooded during rain periods.

It is obvious from photographs that the filled area forms a wall near to the trail, which is at a much lower level.

Even the publicity photograph shows the development at a higher level than the trail.

It would be astonishing if the developer, Pelligra, one of Australia’s biggest, did not commission appropriate flood and drainage studies before undertaking this work.

It would be equally surprising if the responsible council, the City of Wyndham, granted a permit for the development without requiring that there was a drainage plan to ensure that the Federation Trail did not flood as a result of the development.

But is has begun to flood, and only since the earthworks started.

Is that a coincidence, or is there a connection?

There has to be an answer, and it has to be found fast.

The Federation Trail is a Strategic Cycling Corridor and there are upgrades to the route underway now, and others are planned.

It can’t go underwater every time it rains.

Bicycle Network has alerted Major Road Projects and the City of Wyndham to the issue, and they have reached for their snorkels.

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