Progress is being made on a community-led initiative to upgrade the much-loved Wairewa Railway Bridge recreation site, damaged during the 2019-20 bushfires.

Situated east of Nowa Nowa in East Gippsland, the Wairewa Railway Bridge is a popular stop for visitors to the area, and a point of pride for the local community.

Approximately half the structure was destroyed by the fires and after initial safety works, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) met with Bushfire Recovery Victoria and the Wairewa Committee of Management to discuss a plan to ensure the bridge would be retained for its historic value and enjoyment of the community.

Additional works at the site include the installation of a new viewing platform, carpark and picnic tables.

This is one of 24 state forest visitor sites across Gippsland that are being restored as part of the Victorian Government’s support for bushfire-affected communities, with all state forest visitor sites now re-opened.

All contractors working on the upgrade are local companies, based between Traralgon and Mallacoota, including: Chris O’Brien Engineering, Ethos NRM, C &W Excavations. ADRA Engineers, TD Tree Services and Jarvis Norwood Constructions.

Minor site works are being managed by local Forest Fire Management crews and individuals employed under the Working for Victoria initiative.

It is expected the visitor site, carpark and ballast removal works will be complete by the summer holidays.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett

“The Wairewa Railway Bridge is a treasured community asset and a popular stop for visitors to the region. The improvements being made to this site will make the visitor experience even more enjoyable.”

“Projects like the Wairewa Railway Bridge are at the heart of our community-led approach to bushfire recovery.”
“These smaller, local-level projects make a huge difference in town and bring new life to much-loved facilities.”