NSW Government warns CBD commuters to brace for disruption during Sydney light rail construction
Sydneysiders should brace for major disruptions when construction of the city's new light rail begins in the CBD in October, the New South Wales Government has warned.
The Government has released a timeframe of major works, but said construction on the 12-kilometre route would be staggered to minimise inconvenience to businesses, residents, commuters and office workers.
Construction will be staged across 31 construction zones, which will each be affected for between eight and 13 months.
The civil construction is scheduled to be completed by April 2018, with the lines tested from the middle of that year.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said there were financial incentives for the consortium building the light rail to get in and out as quickly as possible, but he wanted to be up front with CBD workers and businesses.
"We're not sugar-coating this. This will be a tough, complex build. It will cause disruption," he said.
"That's why we'll try as much as possible to over-communicate the construction impacts so people are well informed.
"The most disruptive stages would be from August to September in 2016 and May 2017, at which point we will have 17 construction phases under way."
Roads Minister Duncan Gay said Coordinator General Marg Prendergast would be given the power to manage traffic and transport arrangements in the CBD during construction.
"We need an authority that is agile and quick to deal with issues as they crop up during construction within the city," Mr Gay said.
Ms Prendergast said she would have the authority to make quick decisions.
"To remove parking, to relocate a taxi rank, to reschedule buses to a different route if need be," she said.
"Whatever is needed to be done to make this city work and to manage the impacts, we will do."
Mr Constance said once the light rail from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kingsford was complete, commuters would benefit from being able to catch "turn up and go" services every four minutes in the CBD during peak hour and every eight minutes on each branch line.
He said the light rail would carry 450 passengers, the equivalent of nine standard buses, and would remove more than 220 buses from CBD streets.
To ease congestion during major construction, which will involve excavation works, the rebuilding of roads and the laying of tracks, a new bus timetable will be introduced on October 4.
The closure of George Street, the main arterial road through the CBD, will mean bus stops will be moved to other bus corridors including Elizabeth, Castlereagh, Park, Druitt, Clarence and Yorks streets.
Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout construction as will local vehicle and emergency vehicle access. East-west crossings of the CBD will also be maintained.
NSW Government warns CBD commuters to brace for disruption during Sydney light rail construction - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)