QUEENSLAND Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe last week announced that permanent works on Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 would start on schedule in July following the completion of site investigations.
The preferred route for the 7.3 kilometre project extends from Helensvale heavy rail station adjacent to the Gold Coast Line, then adjacent to the Smith Street Motorway to connect with Stage 1 at the Gold Coast University Hospital light rail station.
"Since the Queensland Government and GoldLinQ finalised project documents on 28 April 2016, GoldLinQ's construction contractor CPB Contractors have worked hard on the detailed design and approvals process and will start construction early next month," Mr Hinchliffe said.
"Stage 2 will link the tram to the train and transform the Gold Coast, improving connectivity between Brisbane and the Gold Coast and delivering significant economic benefits and job opportunities for the region."
Mr Hinchliffe said significant construction activity would soon begin in areas between Helensvale heavy rail station and the light rail station at Gold Coast University Hospital.
"Construction will continue into 2017 with testing to occur in the second half of next year to ensure there will be trams carrying passengers to and from Helensvale before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games starting in April," Mr Hinchliffe said.
Federal Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said Stage 2 would be a key part of the integrated transport network that was vital to sustainably managing long-term growth in South East Queensland.
"Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 is a transformational project for the region and will complete the missing public transport link between Brisbane and the Gold Coast," Mr Fletcher said.
GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford said initial Stage 2 construction activities would include the establishment of construction site areas, clearing of vegetation within the project boundary and placement of temporary fencing and environmental controls.
"Relocation of underground services and civil construction including earth works will be underway in coming months along with construction of bridges and other infrastructure required for this vital transport link," Mr Mumford said.
Stage 2 will include three new light rail stations at Parkwood East, Parkwood and Helensvale and an extra 1,400 park-and-ride carparks at Helensvale and Parkwood stations.