Blame it on La Niña
Blame it on La Niña

Your tyre has gone flat; your rain jacket’s leaking; your chain has gone rusty: blame it on La Niña!

You might as well, as that is now the excuse du jour for every project with a bike lane that has been interrupted, delayed, bogged down or otherwise lost up the river.

The latest quagmire is the yet-again extension of the closure of the Federation Trail at Truganina for sewerage works for a new industrial estate.

The latest news is that the trail is going to remain closed for another three months, racking up a total of more than six months. 

We've previously reported on the closure here.

And there is no shortage of excuses: "The works for the outfall sewer have been delayed due to poor weather (significant rainfall events causing flooding), poor ground conditions, presence of groundwater, restricted access and limited room within the works area,” the project manager has reported.

"We are working with the project team to complete these works as quickly as possible so that we can reopen the trail, however unfortunately they are taking longer than originally anticipated.”

Well, if you insist on building an industrial estate on low-lying land, La Niña will happily make fools of you.

The trail will remain closed between Banfield Court and Palmers Road until June, 2022.

The closure does have a detour, but it takes riders a long way off the direct route.

There have been undertaking that the project will keep riders fully informed of developments, but there doesn’t seem to be have been any developments.

And this is not the only trail that has been inexplicably closed for an eternity.

The Galada Timbore Trail is also closed and detoured at Cooper Street in Epping.

Again, deep shafts have been sunk, but otherwise little has happened for months, with no explanation.

The path is fenced off in both directions and riders are directed through a local industrial estate.

The detour has been in place for ever, but that was for the project for the new O’Herns Road Bridge over the Hume Freeway.

That has been completed for many months and riders expected that the trail would be reopened immediately.

But the closure was never lifted: another project simply appropriated the detour developed by the O’Hern’s Road contractors and have continued to extend it.

Again, riders and walkers have attempted to get through the area and have created a path through the grass that is ridable by mountain bike, and also popular with local snakes.

It doesn't need saying that if these routes were arterial roads contractors and roads managers would not be so casual about closing them for over six months to dig a ditch.

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