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Transformation begins, quietly

With the last ride now a memory, Sydney’s monorail heads for the scrap heap

July 19, 2013

Sydney’s infamous monorail will be removed from the inner city skyline from mid-August using a ‘quiet’ method of dismantling.

A Transport for NSW spokesperson says work to remove the monorail track and support columns from Sydney streets will start on August 12 at Darling Drive.

“Removal crews will be working throughout the night to minimise disruption in the Sydney CBD while dismantling the monorail,” the spokesperson says.

“The track and support columns will be removed between 10pm and 5am, Sunday to Thursday over the coming months – this avoids the busiest times in the Sydney CBD.

“Work will start next month at Darling Drive, between Harbourside and Paddy’s Market stations, before moving on to Pyrmont Bridge, followed by Pitt Street, Harbour Street, Liverpool Street, Market Street and finally, Darling Park, near the Western Distributor.”

The project team will use plasma tools and oxypropane equipment to cut through the track and cables.

“This is cutting-edge technology and quieter than traditional methods of cutting through steel,” the spokesperson says.

“Once removed, the track and columns will be loaded onto trucks by crane and taken away for recycling.”

The concrete pedestals at the base of each column will be removed during the day, using diamond wire saws to reduce noise and dust from the works.

Once the tracks, support columns and pedestals have been removed, footpaths and road surfaces affected by the works will be reinstated.

“The removal program has been developed following extensive consultation with residents and businesses, key government agencies, emergency services, the City of Sydney, and transport operators to minimise clashes with events, road work and other major construction in the CBD,” the spokesperson says.

“This is a complex project with the track currently running across busy intersections and weaving through buildings, and there will be some unavoidable, temporary impacts.”

There will be temporary traffic changes around work areas. Buses will also replace the current light rail service across the last two weekends of August, and three weekends in September, to allow cranes to work safely over the light rail lines.

Access to Darling Drive will be also restricted on these four weekends, while traffic on the Western Distributor will be diverted on two nights in October.

Residents and businesses near work areas will be notified of what to expect during the removal closer to the time.

Major demolition activities are expected to be completed by March 2014.

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