WITH passenger services due to commence in early 2019, the NSW Government last week released the detailed construction schedule for the CBD and South East Light Rail project, which reveals that major CBD works will commence on George Street between King and Market Streets on October 23.
The project will link Circular Quay and Central, the Moore Park sporting and entertainment precinct, including the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Football Stadium, Randwick Racecourse, the University of NSW and Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick.
It extends from Circular Quay along George Street to Central Station and Moore Park, then to Kingsford via Anzac Parade and Randwick via Alison Road and High Street and will include 20 light rail stops.
Construction will be staged across 31 construction zones with no one zone affected for the entire period. Individual CBD construction zones will be impacted for between eight and thirteen months before being handed back for public use.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance stressed the importance of recognising the challenge ahead, as well as the need for change.
"We've been elected to get on with the job of transforming NSW through major transport projects such as the North West Rail Link, Sydney Rapid Transit, WestConnex and NorthConnex and light rail in the Sydney CBD and Parramatta," Mr Constance said.
To ease congestion during major construction, a new bus timetable will be introduced on 4 October. The closure of George Street to buses means customers' stops will move to other bus corridors including Elizabeth Street, Castlereagh Street, Park Street, Druitt Street, Clarence Street and York Street.
Movement of some bus stops will typically mean walking to an adjacent city street for a new service. Customers will be given plenty of time to familiarize themselves with the new timetable before it is implemented.
To keep the city moving during construction the NSW Government will establish a single body headed up by Coordinator General Marg Prendergast that will have powers to manage traffic and transport arrangements in the CBD.
The central body will be based on the 2000 Olympic Delivery Authority and the Coordinator General will employ delegated powers under the Roads Act 1993 and the Road Transport Act 2013.
With increased traffic diverted from George Street and extra demands placed on alternative routes, some planned works, including the construction of Castlereagh Street north cycleway, will not be carried out until after light rail construction is completed.
Key major construction dates include:
- September 2015, construction access for Moore Park West Corridor;
- October 2015, CBD works start;
- January 2016 start of Randwick branch;
- February 2016, start of Kingsford branch;
- August 2016 start of work in Surry Hills;
- September 2016, completion of the first pedestrian zone block in George Street;
- May 2017 completion of final pedestrian zone block in George Street;
- September 2017, start of the final work zone along the route (Elizabeth St to Chalmers St);
- September 2017, arrival of light rail vehicles;
- April 2018, completion of major civil construction; ongoing works continue to finalise the installation of electronic systems and construction of platforms; and
- June 2018, testing commences.
Major construction phases relate to excavation works, the rebuilding of roads and the laying of tracks. Work will continue on technical fit out and the construction of individual platforms after this time but will be confined to narrower corridors and will be significantly less intrusive.
Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout construction as will local vehicle and emergency vehicle access. East-West crossings of the CBD will also be maintained.