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The Bas, The Pav and now The Math

Eurobodalla Council is calling for tenders for the 'Math'. On their tender website Council posts: DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, AND MAINTENANCE OF THE MOGO ADVENTURE TRAILS HUB (MATH) "This RFT seeks Tenders from experienced respondents to work with the Principal for the detailed design, construction, and maintenance of the Mogo Adventure Trails Hub (MATH).

The MATH is located in close proximity to Canberra (2hr) and Sydney (4hr) and Mogo is already a popular tourist destination. The region has opportunity to further leverage from the growth in mountain biking and other trail activities and offers tourists and locals a premier trail destination providing a year-round nature-based activity.

The MATH provides an opportunity to create a world-class trail network, which will attract strong visitation from across New South Wales and around Australia. The project has potential to become an important driver in assisting with the economic recovery of the region following bushfires and the downturn associated with the COVID-19 virus.

The benefits of the MATH will include greater regional investment, increased employment and economic development opportunities in the region, a greater diversification of the region's tourism product mix and an enhanced reputation as adventure tourism destination.

Eurobodalla has the potential to capitalise on its natural assets and expanding the nature-based tourism sector in the form of a mountain biking destination in conjunction with the new tourism brand positioning and its marketing tag line "all kinds of natural".

The past five years has seen exponential growth in destination-focused mountain bike trail development across Australia. Developments such as Blue Derby, Maydena Bike Park and Thredbo Resort are bringing tens of thousands of visiting riders to mountain bike destinations each year and delivering tens of millions of dollars in economic impact. As a result of this continuing growth of mountain biking, communities and local governments have increasingly recognised the economic, social and health benefits in developing trails and trail hubs in Australia.

The Mogo Adventure Trails Hub Masterplan proposes a combination of new trails, upgrading existing trails, gravel grind trails and infrastructure developments such as;

1 Develop approximately 125.6kms of new trails.

2 Formalise and adapt 30kms of existing trails.

3 Iconic wilderness hero trail descending from Wandera Mountain

4 Design and construct a major trailhead entry hub at Mogo.

5 Formalise 191kms of gravel grind trails.

6 Design and construct a secondary trailhead.

The Mogo Adventure Trail Hub Masterplan can be found on the major projects section of the Council's website."

Above: Dirt Art states the trails network has the potential to attract 45,000 visitors to Eurobodalla in its first year of operation, resulting in an estimated $11.8 million injection to the local economy. There is no statement from Council around community questions asking "Where will these 45,000 visitors park or go to the toilet as the carpark is not large enough to cope with normal tourism traffic and the toilet block is remote and sub-optimal?" Let's do the MATH:

In October 2020, the NSW Government awarded $3 million to the project through the Growing Local Economies Fund. The current NSW Budget has allocated $300,000 of the $3 million announced. The MATH objectives are to:

· provide a range of trails to suit a broad range of demographic and riding levels;

· provide meaningful recreational, social, and economic benefits to the local community;

· establish the trail hub as a significant tourism asset;

· maximise economic development and business opportunities; and

· grow the tourist market, providing a year-round nature-based activity as another key experience in the region. The winning tenderer "must develop and complete the concept designs including route flagging on the ground for all trails, GIS mapping and land tenure(s) identification.

Geotechnical assessments may be required for some section of trail, particularly at higher elevations. Detailed design must be completed as part of Stage 1. The successful tenderer must, as part of Stage 1:

· identify the land tenure(s)

· prepare a Review of Environmental Factors and/or Environmental Impact Statement (as required by Law);

· prepare a Cultural Heritage Survey Report to establish matters relating to the cultural and heritage context of the Site, such as the presence of areas of Aboriginal significance and biodiversity values; and

· procure an AQF Level 5, Australian Qualified Framework Arborist to carry out a risk assessment report of dangerous trees on the proposed trail area. The successful tenderer must also produce a stakeholder engagement strategy that will engage the community, mountain bike users of the existing informal trails and future trails to help inform the detailed design. As part of Stage 1, the successful tenderer must prepare a signage plan and submit it to the Principal Representative for review.

At a minimum, the signage plan must include:

· large map boards, trail head and way marker signage;

· risk and incident management signage;

· trail signage in accordance with the trails difficulty grading as defined in the International Mountain Biking Trail Difficulty Rating System;

· road signage will need to be consistent with the 2018 Eurobodalla Shire Council Tourism and Wayfinding Signage Strategy (Wayfound);

· Must give consideration to Eurobodalla Shire cultural heritage, including in relation to the traditional owners of the land both past and present and emerging. The successful tenderer must submit a project plan, which must include:

the D&C Program (in the form of a Gantt chart) that will clearly articulate how the Activities in respect of the Design Stages and Construction Stages will be carried out; Council advises prospective tenderers that "Mogo provides a strong basis for establishing itself as a genuine adventure trails hub due in part to its proximity to Canberra as well as the region’s unique undulating landscape and scenic ocean views.

"With quality trail development, The Mogo Adventure Trails Hub has the opportunity to bring both short and long term benefits to the region with the addition of adventure tourism that complements the existing offerings of the area."

Council says The MATH will provide a range of both tangible and intangible outcomes including:

· high-quality beginner-friendly trails;

· a structured progression in difficulty through trail types;

· a good volume of smoother flow style trails;

· access to high-quality hire bikes;

· comprehensive and easily interpreted trail signage;

· access to a variety of formal and informal non-riding activities;

· access to a good range of accommodation and food and beverage opportunities; and

· high quality supporting infrastructure. Council advise that they have adopted the International Mountain Bicycling Association Trail Difficulty Rating System as the classification system for mountain bike tracks.

The MATH track development will follow IMBA Standards for design, construction, and maintenance.

Council will monitor mountain bike experiences in parks to identify conditions specific to the Mogo State Forest, adapting IMBA Standards as necessary.

Council will adopt the IMBA Rules of the Trail.

Construction of the MATH must adhere to the construction and safety standards established by FCNSW. All machinery working in State forests must comply with FCNSW policies for FOPS, ROPS and OPG. Of interest to those who will use the tracks: IMBA Principles of track design and location

IMBA lists 11 principles according to the IMBA website for designing and locating sustainable mountain bike tracks to allow water to drain off the track and keep users on the track.

  1. Locate the track on a sidehill: It is much easier to drain water away from a track located on a slope than one on flat ground, and it is easier to keep users on the track.

  2. Avoid the fall line: Tracks should always climb or descend a slope gradually, rather than travelling directly up or down it. Tracks that travel directly up or down hills (fall-line tracks) create a path for water that erodes soil and creates gullies. Riders may then widen tracks by riding around gullies.

  3. Use the ‘half rule’ to guide track alignment: A track’s grade should never exceed half the grade of the sidehill it is located on. Grade is the elevation gained divided by the distance of the segment of the track (expressed as a percentage). A track across a sideslope of 20% should not exceed 10%.

  4. Follow the ‘ten percent average’ guideline for sustainable grade: The average track grade is the slope of the track for an entire uphill section. Generally, an average grade of 10% or less is most sustainable.

  5. Maximum sustainable grade: typically, the maximum sustainable track grade is about 15% for a short distance, but it is site-specific and varies with track alignment, use of the half rule, soil type, annual rainfall, vegetation, use of grade reversals, type of users, number of users and level of difficulty.

  6. Grade reversals: most tracks benefit from grade reversals every 6–16 metres. A grade reversal is a spot at which a track drops subtly and rises again, which forces water to drain off the track.

  7. Outslope: most tracks should be built with a 5% outslope. An outslope is a tilt on the downhill or outer edge of the track, which encourages water to sheet across and off the track in a gentle manner instead of funnelling down the track’s centre.

  8. Adapt track design to soil texture: uniform soils dominated by one particle type such as sand are most sensitive. A mix of different types of soil particles drains well and holds together. The presence of rock and gravel can improve a soil’s ability to withstand erosion.

  9. Minimise user-caused soil displacement: Soil displacement by users can be reduced by three tactics: consistent flow, insloped turns and armouring. Consistent flow avoids abrupt and inconsistent turns that make riders brake hard or skid. Insloped turns (or bermed turns) improve track flow and reduce skidding. They must be carefully designed to drain water and withstand user impacts. Armouring involves hardening the surface with gravel, rocks, synthetic materials or wooden boardwalks. It can be used to elevate the track tread, especially in soft or wet terrain, or to armour the track against user-caused erosion.

  10. Prevent creation of unauthorised tracks: unauthorised track creation can be reduced by having a stable and predictable surface and providing a high quality experience that meets riders’ needs.

  11. Maintenance: track maintenance, as well as track design, should focus on allowing water to drain off the track and containing users on the track.

Existing trails must undergo complete re-profiling