Sydney light-rail on track

Sydney’s light-rail project is progressing ahead of schedule and is set to enter the next phase

Sydney’s light-rail project may be complete earlier than expected, with works running ahead of schedule and most bus customers having now adjusted to the partial CBD closure.

Although the new light-rail line is not due to be complete until early 2019, the bulk of land-and utility perpetration work is out of the way now, allowing the real construction to start this year.

"We have now significantly progressed vital utility investigations along George Street, which has helped refine the detailed design for the project, including determining the exact track location and where the most complex work will need to be done," New South Wales (NSW) minister for transport and infrastructure Andrew Constance says.

Light-rail project CBD coordinator general Marg Prendergast announced the start date for the next two phases this week, with work to commence at three new CBD construction zones over the next three months.

"A massive amount of what we achieved on George Street last year was in identifying and commencing the relocation or modification of underground utilities and we cannot thank Ausgrid enough, for the work it has done to get building on track," she says.

"We are working very hard to release areas of George Street back to residents, workers and businesses before Christmas 2016 and we will seek to minimise impacts in any zones that are occupied in the lead up to Christmas."

The new pedestrian mall on George Street will be complete before Christmas, but large sections of the CBD will still be closed for the light rail works.

"Between Grosvenor and Hunter streets, we are entering about two weeks earlier than we initially advised, while up on Chalmers Street, outside Central, construction has been brought forward several months," Prendergast says.

"As each zone’s start date approaches, we will ensure businesses, residents and the broader community have all the information they need to make sure they can still get around the local area."

Major construction should be complete by mid-2018, followed by system and vehicle commissioning before light-rail vehicles begin carrying customers along the new line.

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