The City of Victor Harbor is going full steam ahead and on their bikes to continue a project, which will "establish the Encounter Bikeway as the best coastal bike route in Australia".
Elected Members at its June council meeting voted to consider an allocation of $60,000 in the Draft 2020/21 Capital Budget for further investigation into the options for the alignment of the Encounter Bikeway from the Causeway to the Council boundary with Alexandrina.
Subsequently a walkover to inspect the options with Elected Members was held Friday, May 15.
The options included; A route behind houses on Hindmarsh Road (Kleinigs Hill) to access the existing route at Hayward Court and maintaining the use of the road network for the Encounter Bikeway to the council boundary near Third Avenue; Using the northern side of the rail corridor, including some excavation and construction of retaining walls at the Hindmarsh Road end to ensure a safe operating buffer from the railway; Upgrading paths on the southern side of the railway, adjacent to Kleinig's Hill before switching to the northern side below Hayward Street near Olivers' Reef.
The Victor Harbor Bicycle Strategy identified the need to upgrade existing off-road paths and to look at opportunities to develop new local recreational cycling opportunities and off-road paths.
Council administration engaged Greenhill Engineers to carry out an engineering assessment of the options for realignment of the Encounter Bikeway between Hindmarsh Road and Hayward Street, including the option to upgrade the existing pathway along Hindmarsh Road to Hayward Court.
This option had the benefit of being on council managed land and substantially less costly than other options.
City of Victor Harbor manager of open space and recreation Brian Doman said this option had limitations in that this section is relatively narrow and steep.
"It is close to the carriageway of Hindmarsh Road and does not provide the views of Encounter Bay," Mr Doman said.
Greenhill Engineers have provided a preliminary cost estimate for this option of $219,285.
Option 1 will require to access the rear of the properties on Hindmarsh Road requires a partial boardwalk, either cantilevered from the existing retaining wall or raised on pylons from the embankment and then coming up on the flatter land at the rear of the properties to meet the existing route on Hayward Court.
Mr Doman said this option was reliant on council receiving approval from Crown Lands and there is a high risk that the adjoining residents will resist this alignment.
The preliminary cost estimate for this option of $2,740,320.
Option 2 is to explore excavation and retaining walls on the northern side of the railway line and would require the construction of a substantial retaining structure from Hindmarsh Road to Hayward Street. This option would require approval from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. This option has limited views of Encounter Bay, but would have minimal resident concerns and reduced conflict with vehicles.
Preliminary cost estimate for this option is $4,590,685.
"Option 2A was suggested by Greenhill Engineers at our site inspection as it would reduce the need for large scale retaining for the majority of the length along the railway corridor. This option crosses the rail line with a chicane at the rear of 72 Hindmarsh Road to enable the pathway to proceed on the southern side of the rail line to the Hayward Street Chicane, where it would again cross to the northern side of the rail line," Mr Doman said.
This realignment is anticipated to reduce the cost substantially as a result of reducing the length of battering required. There would still be the requirement for a raised boardwalk between Hayward Court and Hayward Street.
Cost estimate was $2,606,065.
Option 3 is to divert the Encounter Bikeway from Hindmarsh Road along existing pathways between the railway line and the coast, including the construction of a raised boardwalk adjoining the railway line from Hayward Court to Hayward Street, where the path would again follow the existing path to Investigator Carpark.
This alignment would include two railway crossings and require some vegetation trimming and removal through the coastal reserve.
The cost of this option is estimated at $2,604,085.
"In all cases the cost for construction is high as a result of constraints with access as well as soil and bank stability considerations," Mr Doman said.
"Each of the options have a range of issues that would need to be investigated before the full cost implications and risks could be identified and managed.
"It is suggested that there is still some work to be done to determine the best alignment of the Encounter Bikeway to best service the needs of the community and to 'establish the Encounter Bikeway as the best coastal bike route in Australia'.
"This could be done as part of a holistic review of the Encounter Bikeway alignment between the Causeway and our council boundary."
Option 2 with an estimate of more than $4.5 million was not popular with elected members.
"We cannot justify that kind of cost for option 2, Cr Brayden Mann said.
Cr Bryan Littlely said all options had to be looked at.
"This is money well spent, but there is a big difference between the $220,000 option and the multi-million dollar option," he said.
Cr David Kemp said elected members needed a workshop on the project and what would be the best option.
"It is a great initiative," he said.