The goal of having the new Cringila Hills mountain bike trails ready to ride this spring may be in peril after the track work was damaged several times by riders who got onto the site illegally.
The tracks, being designed and built by trail construction group Dirt Art, were set to be open for riders within weeks or months, but the project leader said there had been "very significant damage" done.
It's a kick in the teeth for the crew which was already battling lockdown hardship.
"Our construction teams have been working through ongoing weather and COVID-related challenges so it is disappointing to be further set back by riders doing the wrong thing,'' Dirt Art managing director Simon French said.
"Riders are risking their safety and the safety of our staff if they are accessing the site illegally, and also delaying the project through what has, in some cases, been very significant damage to the incomplete trails. We ask riders to be patient - the trails will be worth the wait.''
Every time these paths are damaged by illegal riders it runs the risk of setting the project back- Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said Wollongong City Council was "working with NSW Police" to stop the vandalism.
"This is so disappointing," he said.
"Right now, no one should be on the site, except council staff and contractors who may need to undertake critical work for safety reasons.
"If any residents who border the site hear or see mountain or motorbike riders I ask them to please report it to NSW Police immediately.
"The illegal actions of these riders are damaging the pathways and tracks that are not yet finished. It needs to stop.
"I know our diverse mountain biking community is looking forward to being able to explore these purpose-built trails aimed at all skill levels, and we're looking forward to opening [as] soon as possible. But every time these paths are damaged by illegal riders it runs the risk of setting the project back.''
The million-dollar Cringila Hills project is being jointly funded by Wollongong City Council and the NSW Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
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