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A concept design for a new-look Apex Park in Stratford has been unveiled and is open for public comment for the next 10 days.

Locals had a chance earlier this year to put forward their ideas for the park, which is being redeveloped as part of the multi-million dollar project to build a new rail bridge across the Avon River at Stratford.

A concept design has now been created incorporating a BMX/pump track for both beginners and advanced riders, a nature-based playground, public art, new vegetation and the most popular ideas put forward by the public.

Local MP Darren Chester is encouraging people with an interest in the park, particularly young people in Stratford, to provide feedback on the design.

“This is a chance for those who will use the park to shape the final design,” Mr Chester said.

“Apex Park is an important piece of public open space in Stratford and the design should cater for the needs of the range of people in local community who will use and enjoy it for years to come.”

The playground design includes a ropes course and climbing rope net, basket swing, talking tubes, bars, rocks and logs for balancing, and an accessible spinner. A Gippsland artist will be commissioned to design and paint a mural.

People can submit their feedback by completing a survey, either online or by mail. Their comments will be used to further refine the design for the park. The final plan will be presented to the community in the middle of this year and construction will start soon after.

Work on the park is expected to be finished at the start of next year.

The new rail bridge and park at Stratford is part of the $530 million upgrade of the Gippsland line. Mr Chester secured $504 million from the Federal Government funding for upgrade as the then-Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister.

“The new rail bridge will be 504 metres long and infrastructure will be installed to reduce the impact of flooding,” Mr Chester said. “Trains using the new bridge will be able to travel at up to 90 kilometres an hour. The current limit is 10 kilometres per hour.”

“There will be new boom gates at the McAlister Street level crossing and active gates at the new pedestrian crossing.”

The Apex Park concept design is available at https://engage.vic.gov.au/apex-park

Surveys to provide feedback on the design must be received by 5pm on Sunday May 24.

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