Deteriorating walking bridge shut for repair
Sun.31.5.20 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'
A HISTORIC walking bridge in Gippsland has been closed after it was deemed in urgent need of repair.
Parks Victoria this week shut the popular Walhalla Tramway Bridge — also known as Poverty Point Bridge — at Walhalla over fears it was a “serious risk of imminent breakdown”.
A recent review of the structure, built in 1900, revealed upgrades were urgently needed — including new steelwork and other structural upgrades. It is understood the works could take many months.
A Parks Victoria spokesman said an alternative route would still be available for hikers to continue exploring the area.
The bridge also forms part of the Australian Alps Walking Track, which stretches for more than 650km through the alpine regions of Victoria, NSW and the ACT, making access critical as tourism starts to return to the area.
“To ensure visitor safety the Walhalla Tramway Bridge has been temporarily closed while necessary repair works are considered following the findings of a recent condition report,” the spokesman said.
“As a key part of the Australian Alps Walking Track, Parks Victoria understands the importance of the area to visitors and is pleased that walkers can continue on their journeys via an alternative route.”
The popular spot is a significant part of Victoria’s history, having formerly been used as part of gold mining operations in the Gippsland area.
The bridge closed to mining in 1944 but has remained a popular walking track and tourist destination for decades.
[late 70s: it was a lost mystery for years. I found it twice by scrub bashing, including a section wading up the river on the second try, 1975. My companions did walk across on the girders; I didn't. I also visited when it became part of the trail, and was decked and fenced, 1981, an LRRSA exploration weekend].