Light Rail construction kicks off on Chalmers Street

27 July 2017

Pedestrians and drivers are reminded to be vigilant around changed traffic on Chalmers Street and Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills as major light rail construction kicks off today.

From 10pm, construction work will close Chalmers Street to general traffic, between Devonshire Street and Eddy Avenue. Northbound traffic will be redirected to Elizabeth Street via Randle Street which means Elizabeth Street near Central Station will be converted to two-way traffic, and traffic flow on Randle Street will be flipped.

“Progress of the light rail route is coming along in leaps and bounds with more than 8 kilometres of track already laid across the route and we can’t wait to start work on this final section of the line at Chalmers Street,” Coordinator General Marg Prendergast said.

“For us to finish the work as fast as possible we will be changing traffic arrangements in the area including adding a two-way section of Elizabeth Street and changing Randle Street from a southbound to a northbound flow.”

Pedestrian safety infrastructure will be installed around the changed roads such as pedestrian fencing to prevent people crossing where it is unsafe, and new crossings put in on Chalmers Street. NSW Police will be out during the early stages of the road changes to help manage pedestrian movements and road safety.

Superintendent Adam Whyte of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command said pedestrian safety is a top priority for the Traffic & Highway Patrol.

“Tragically, we have already seen 34 pedestrians die on our roads this year. Many of these deaths are avoidable,” Superintendent Whyte said.

“There are some simple tips that everyone can follow to avoid becoming the next tragedy.”

Safety tips for pedestrians include:

  • cross at pedestrian lights or zebra crossings, when they are available;
  • be aware of your surroundings, changed conditions and warning signs, especially when wearing headphones;
  • do not cross between cars, near buses or large vehicles, because you may not be seen until it’s too late; and,
  • do not look at your phone or other device when crossing under any circumstances –a text is simply not worth risking your life for.

Coordinator General Marg Prendergast said a new campaign is also targeting pedestrians to ensure they are not complacent with their safety or the safety of others.

“It’s really important that we get people actively thinking about their safety because coming down Foveaux or out of Central Station while lost in the moment on their phone could put them at risk of being involved in a crash,” Ms Prendergast said.

“The campaign will include station announcements, footpath decals and geo-targeted mobile notifications pushed to pedestrians around the intersection to make sure they stop and look both ways before they step out to cross the street.

“We have reduced the speed limit to 40km/hour around the construction zone because we know that this halves the risk of a pedestrian fatality compared with a vehicle travelling at 50km/hour, but pedestrians also need to take personal responsibility for their safety.

“We know that this will be a big change for commuters who use these roads and crossings everyday which is why we need everyone to be extra mindful around the changed traffic conditions and not rush when getting to their destination.”

As the location of the Central Station stop for the CBD and South East Light Rail, general traffic will not return to this section of Chalmers Street. When the project is complete, a service road will maintain local access, including access to the Sydney Dental Hospital secure loading zone, kerbside loading plus disabled parking spaces for patients being picked up and dropped off.

The CBD and South East Light Rail will provide reliable, high frequency ‘turn up and go’ transport services from Circular Quay and the CBD, to Randwick and Kingsford via Surry Hills, Moore Park and Kensington by early 2019.

For more information on the traffic and pedestrian changes on Chalmers Street, view our map.