Victor Harbor Horse Tram back in business following repairs to Granite Island Causeway

The Victor Harbor Horse Tram pictured back in action on Monday morning.
The Victor Harbor Horse Tram pictured back in action on Monday morning.

The Victor Harbor Horse Tram Service is back in business following temporary repairs to rotted pylons on Friday, 4, and Saturday, January 5.

The repairs to prop up affected pylons were carried out by the Department of Transport, Planning and Infrastructure (DPTI) who are responsible for the maintenance of the Causeway.

An inspection by a DPTI engineer late Saturday afternoon, advised the City of Victor Harbor that the tram could re-commence operation the following day.

City of Victor Harbor CEO Victoria MacKirdy said the council will continue to push for further, much needed upgrades of the Causeway to ensure its long-term viability.

“Now that the temporary repairs are complete and the Horse Drawn Tram is back in operation, our focus is to work with DPTI to achieve the best outcome for the future of the Causeway,” she said.

“The Council will continue to advocate for a significant upgrade of the Causeway. We want to protect the heritage of this important asset at the same time as enhancing its structural integrity so it lasts another 150 years.”

DPTI will conduct a full condition assessment of the entire structure, which will include recommended repairs that are in keeping with its State Heritage listing. That investigation is expected to be received by DPTI in the first half of 2019. 

Temporary repairs to the Causeway.

Temporary repairs to the Causeway.

This follows discussions between Member for Finniss David Basham and Minister for Transport Stephan Knoll.

“It is a 150 year old structure that is open to the weather and needs to be maintained,” said Mr Basham.

Deputy Chair of Business Victor Harbor Mark Richards said it was imperative the Causeway was maintained and kept operational. 

“With an estimated 900,000 locals and tourists from around Australia and Internationally walking across the causeway to experience Granite Island - it is imperative for the causeway to be safe for all users and remain operationally open,” he said. 

City of Victor Harbor mayor Moira Jenkins returned from holiday early so she could be fully aware of what was occurring and is full of praise for council staff for their quick action.

“I am very pleased no one was hurt and that council staff had acted promptly and professionally. The staff on the tram should be commended for their action at a time that would have been such a frightening event,” Dr Jenkins said.

“It is reassuring to know there is bi-partisan support from the State Government and the Opposition to upgrade the causeway. The State Government recognises the Causeway is not just important to Victor Harbor, but important to our state heritage and state tourism.” Dr Jenkins said council would work closely with the State Government and make sure something like this will “not happen again.”

Business Victor Harbor deputy chair Mark Richards said “the Causeway and Granite Island are South Australia’s equivalent to Sydney’s Opera House, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and Northern Territory’s Uluru”.

City of Victor Harbor Mayor Moira Jenkins with a DPTI contractor during repair works last week.

City of Victor Harbor Mayor Moira Jenkins with a DPTI contractor during repair works last week.