Rail trail nears final finish line
AUSTRALIA'S longest rail trail is one step closer to completion after a Brisbane Valley-based company was selected to finish one of the track's final stretches.
A&M Civil Contracting has been awarded the multi-million dollar contract by Somerset Regional Council to finish the second- last piece of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail between Toogoolawah and Harlin.
Manager Anthony De Ruiter said the stretch included several challenging creek crossings but, as Mr De Ruiter put it, "nothing we can't handle".
"It's a fairly rough section too, so hopefully when complete it'll bring a bit more tourism to the area," he said.
"We've been very happy to be awarded the work, and I think it's awesome for council to support us as a local business.
"I employ all local staff as well, so it keeps all the money in the shire."
Paul Heymans, who has largely led the push for the trail's completion as head of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Users Association, said the finished track would do wonders for the region.
"We've had a lot of businesses in the area giving us feedback that they've seen a big increase in customers coming in from the rail trail already," he said.
"I've recently been contacted by somebody planning to come from Singapore specifically to ride the trail."
"Being a little bit of an adventure trail, not an easy, bitumen ride, is a big drawcard in itself."
Council is expected to award the contract for upgrades between Harlin and Moore by the end of 2017, using a combination of local, state and federal government funds.
In the Somerset Regional Council ordinary agenda for their December 6 meeting, it was recommended A&M Civil Contracting to complete the final section from Harlin to Moore, to the value of $1,363,868.
Once complete, the trail will be 160km long
A&M's work to begin within the week and expected to finish within four months
Final upgrades due to finish June 2018