Works to re-open Launceston’s popular Cataract Walk recreational trail are progressing well, with the City of Launceston Council saying it expects to re-open the pathway to the public before March.
More than 1,500 tonnes of bluestone and wall material are being removed from above the walkway, following the collapse of a privately-owned retaining wall last year.
Given the difficult terrain, the stone and earth is being removed from the site using a custom fabricated rail trolley system, similar to those operating in the mining sector, the Council said in a statement.
It is taking advantage of the walkway’s closure to undertake other remediation works on a 60m section of track at the walkway’s western end.
City of Launceston Mayor, Matthew Garwood said excavation works were progressing really well.
“This is an incredibly technical and complex project involving the removal of a failed and now dangerous old bluestone retaining wall from high above the Cataract Walk,” Mayor Garwood said.
“We’ve completed approximately 70% of the excavation works and so far we haven’t experienced anything unexpected.
“Once the excavation works are complete, we’ll be planting native plants to help stabilise the slope, installing a safety fence, removing the temporary catch nets that were installed immediately after the failure, and re-opening the Gorge steps.
“We still have a fair bit of work ahead of us, but we expect to re-open the Cataract Walk to the public before March.
“This has been a pretty tough situation, but one where Council has jumped in to actively ensure the best outcome for the community.
“We continue to thank the public for their patience while we carry out the works,” he said.