Slippery choice after bridge loss

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Watch your step: A beachgoer gingerly steps across Hearn Creek to access the beach at Mt Martha South. A bridge has been removed to protect nearby beach boxes.

Removing a small bridge over Hearn Creek on Mt Martha South Beach has stopped beach boxes being undermined, but is presenting a new hazard for pedestrians.

Those accessing the beach across the creek must walk over concrete covered with slippery weed.

After rain, the creek is too wide to step over and, under certain conditions, the flows create what can only be described as quicksand where the creek enters the sea.

Two main access points across the creek to the southern section of the beach are then effectively closed or compromised.

Mornington Peninsula Shire’s project delivery manager Derek Rotter, said the bridge over the creek was removed in February “to install a concrete crossing for vehicles and pedestrians to cross the creek”.

“The bridge caused a bottle neck in the stormwater flows that come from Hearn Creek,” Mr Rotter said.

“During large storms the water jumped over the bridge and caused significant erosion of the beach and foreshore. The erosion was threatening the bathing boxes.”

Mr Rotter said the work was “conducted in collaboration with the federal government, the shire, Melbourne Water and local beach box owners”.

First published in the Mornington News – 9 October 2018

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