The Sydney Light Rail project has kicked off, with construction expected to cause serious disruptions.
Commuters and motorists in Southeast Sydney should expect lengthy delays, according to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance. As construction begins along the route it’s expected that there will be an enormous disruption to traffic since bus lanes and carparks have had to be removed.
Anzac Parade’s centre lane will be permanently removed (in both directions), and changed into bus lanes, which will also cause a hotspot of congestion.
Mr Constance said that bus customers and motorists did a great job when it came to adjusting to the changes in the CBD, however they’re again reminding motorists to plan ahead as work ramps up in the south-east. Since delays are expected, commuters are encouraged to re-time their trips, leaving earlier to deal with delays.
“We are sending a very clear message to those residents throughout the south-east. Please plan your trips,” Mr Constance said.
Hundreds of people recently protested the felling of 31 of the 112 fig trees along Anzac Parade, and it’s estimated that approximately 760 trees will need to be removed in total, however, 1800 trees are going to be replanted in the area. Mr Constance called the tree removal a “necessary evil”, as he’s not planning to build a zigzag railway, and said that some protesters have mounted a “deliberate misinformation campaign”.
There have also been arguments that work should be stopped after Aboriginal artefacts were found during construction.
The Sydney light rail project is worth $2.1 billion and is set to tackle the congestion crisis in Sydney. It will have far more capacity than the buses it will be replacing, and the trams will be quicker, more reliable, and take up far less road space than the current buses.
The new system will connect the CBD, university, and hospital, along with sport precincts and shopping, and the light rail will be opening in 2019.
Sources: Construction Industry News, Transport NSW, News.com.au, Sydney Morning Herald.