The big build: our progress in 2016

20 December 2016

A message from CBD Coordinator General Marg Prendergast 

Work on the CBD and South East Light Rail has made real headway in 2016, with major construction now underway in 21 of our 31 work zones across the CBD, Moore Park, Surry Hills, Randwick, Kingsford and Kensington.

Throughout the year, our crews have been working hard to clear the way for the new light rail. Undertaking this complex utility work under the roadways has been a huge task.

Above ground, we’ve reached some important milestones, with the first track laid in Kensington in August and then here in the CBD, on George Street, in December.

Mid-year, all six lanes of Anzac Parade were diverted onto a temporary road so that work could start on the light rail tunnel that will travel underneath the road.

In Moore Park West the cut-and-cover tunnel was excavated to allow light rail vehicles to travel under the Moore Park playing fields. The base of this tunnel is now in place.

In September and October, a new bridge was built over the Eastern Distributor, between Surry Hills and Moore Park West, to cater for the light rail, pedestrians and cyclists.

We’ve continued to work closely with the community and businesses along the light rail route and in July we launched a mobile information hub which travels across the CBD and South East to provide information about light rail construction.  To date, our street teams have interacted with more than 23,000 people, answering questions about construction and traffic arrangements.

Through our Travel Choices program, we’ve engaged with more than 600 organisations to help people adapt to the road and transport changes in Sydney and we’ve seen some real changes in travel behaviour as people embrace the message to re-time, re-mode, re-route and reduce their need for car travel.

We have finished off the year with the return of the popular light rail Christmas activation program in George Street, which offers free events and activities to support businesses and help pedestrians make the most of this area. It’s been a great taste of what’s to come with the new light rail pedestrianised zone between Hunter and Bathurst streets.

We’ve made great progress in 2016 and we will build on this further through 2017.

It’s going to be another big year, with major construction rolling out across more zones and finishing in others.

You will see lots of activity over summer, with construction ramping up across the CBD and the South East to take advantage of the quiet holiday period.

Work will also start next year on our three terminus locations at Circular Quay, Randwick and Kingsford.

We’ll begin work on the stabling yard and control centre at Randwick, and the new maintenance depot at Lilyfield.

More light rail track will be laid across the length of the route and in mid-2017, traffic will return to Anzac Parade while work on the Moore Park tunnel continues underground.

Once again, I’d like to thank everyone who has been impacted by the changes in the CBD and South East for working with us this year. In the past 12 months we have seen great changes and glimpses of the benefits light rail will bring.

Our teams will continue to work carefully with drivers, public transport customers, residents, businesses and the wider community to minimise disruption while we deliver this transformative project.