Permanent Closure of Asbestos Contaminated Trail at Stromlo

Words by Stromlo Forest Park | Images by Stromlo Forest Park

Investigations and rehabilitation activities regarding the discovery of asbestos containing material (ACM) found on two sections of the main trunk mountain bike trail at Stromlo Forest Park are continuing.

Testing was conducted earlier this month and the results of these tests confirm the presence of bonded asbestos in the soil. All visual fragments have been removed by a licensed asbestos removalist.

The section of the trail where the asbestos was found is on land owned by the Australian National University (ANU), which is used by Stromlo Forest Park in accordance with a memorandum of understanding. Rehabilitation activities in this area will continue to be managed by ANU.

The first stage of this process is the permanent closure of the section of the trail between ‘Red Rock’ and ‘Tall Trees’. The area will be fenced off and revegetation activities will commence.

No hazardous material was found on the trail running from Tall Trees to the water tanks and this section of track will reopen immediately.

Work will also begin immediately to build a temporary trail running parallel to the Mt Stromlo road so riders can access the summit and Scope Cafe.

Mapping will be undertaken to permanently re-route the tracks around the affected area so that riders can enjoy full access to all of Stromlo Forest Park (over 60 kilometres of trails) in a safe environment.

Stromlo Forest Park management will consult with the Canberra Off-Road Cyclists (CORC) to ensure the new tracks meet the needs of the riders and are interesting and fun to use.

Once the new routes have been agreed upon, testing for ACM will be undertaken prior to construction to ensure the health and safety of all users. As the new sections of track are completed they will be opened to riders and it is anticipated that all the new tracks will be fully operational by mid to late July.

Signage warning trail users that the track is closed will remain in place until the new trails are completed. Members of the public are urged to respect the barricades and not attempt entry into the closed sections of the trail.

Stromlo Forest Park will continue to provide updates via its social media sites on twitter @stromloforest and on facebook www.facebook.com/stromloforestpark

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