SPECIAL measures will be taken to ensure Warrnambool's most popular wombat is not harmed during works to the Otway Road bridge.
Gutsy the wombat has made headlines around the world after artist Jimmi Buscombe used the bridge as a temporary canvas for the wombat mural.
His artwork became a permanent fixture when Phil Hoye decided to clear coat it without telling anyone.
A video of the story of how Gutsy became a landmark for the city has gone viral, with more than 36 million views on Youtube.
V/Line chief executive officer James Pinder was in Warrnambool on Tuesday to announce the bridge will be replaced in the coming weeks.
"As part of the Victorian Government's Autumn Construction Blitz, V/Line will be completing major maintenance and renewal work on the Warrnambool line," Mr Pinder said,
However, he was quick to allay any fears about Gutsy.
"We all know about the beloved Gutsy the wombat artwork and we are taking special measures to ensure this is protected during the bridge deck replacement," Mr Pinder said.
"The artwork will be covered and cordoned off while the $1.7 million bridge replacement takes place."
Otway Road will be closed at the rail bridge from Saturday, April 6 to Friday, April 12 and coaches will replace trains on the Warrnambool line for all or part of the journey from April 6 to 21.
Mr Pinder said once the works were finished passengers would have access to a more reliable service.
"We'd like to thank our Warrnambool passengers for their patience as we complete these upgrades and major maintenance projects," he said.
As Mr Pinder was addressing the media near the now-famous bridge, Mr Hoye ducked in to check on the now-prized artwork.
He told The Standard he was delighted the artwork would be protected.
"It's just magic," Mr Hoye said.
When he found out about the replacement works, he was initially concerned.
"I said if they're knocking it down can I have the bit of concrete? It would have looked good in the backyard, but I'm pleased it's staying," Mr Hoye said.
He said there were people who pulled up to check out the artwork on a daily basis.
"On the weekend there was a couple from South Africa who pulled up to have a look - it's just magic," Mr Hoye said.