The Yarra through the lower reaches is silting up again and the pontoons through Cremorne and Burnley are bottoming out at low tide.
Close to Punt Road, in Cremorne, the pontoons are tilting, creating risks for riders, and stressing the pontoon structures and supports.
Dredging is expected to start soon. In total, over 1000 cubic metres of material will be removed from under the trail.
Consequently, a section of the Main Yarra Trail will need to be closed for about a month.
The northern side of the Main Yarra Trail between the Punt Road bridge and Cremorne rail bridge will be closed weekdays between 7.30am and 5.30pm from 15 June to 15 July 2020.
Signage will show recommended detours for bike riders and pedestrians.
This will require riders to detour to alternative routes, to be determined by Parks Victoria in the coming days.
Parks Victoria is working with the dredge contractor to ensure that the trail remains open as much as possible and whenever it is safe to do so.
Detours are never welcome, but they are inevitable, and they will help get the works done quickly and the trail reopened as soon as possible.
It is the third occasion dredging has been required to put the pontoons on the level – it’s been done previously in 2009 and 2014.
There are three floating sections of the Main Yarra Trail.
Section 1: Between Punt Road bridge and Cremorne rail bridge.
Section 2: Between Church Street bridge and the Burnley bouldering wall.
Section 3: Outside of Burnley Harbour, just upstream of the Burnley bouldering wall.
In the first stage, river sediment will be removed from underneath Section 1 where the problem is most urgent.
Dredging may also occur at Section 2 and Section 3 after the completion of the works at Section 1. Dredging at Section 2 and Section 3 is dependent on budget availability.
Potential dredging at Section 2 and Section 3 would start immediately after completion of section 1, and would be expected to be completed by the end of August 2020.
This would result in further closures of floating sections 2 and 3 (upstream of Church Street bridge and outside of Burnley Harbour), which might occur between 15 July and 31 August 2020.
Details of the recommended detours will be available soon.