25 July 2016
On 12 July 2016, the Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Minister for Transport, Megan Fitzharris turned the first sod to mark the start of construction of stage one of the city wide light rail network for Canberra.
Construction of the first stage will be complete by the end of 2018, with operations commencing in 2019.
The ACT Government will be making further commitments on public transport in coming months, including on future stages of the light rail network.
Minister Fitzharris said, “Light rail will transform our city, and today marks the start of a whole new transport journey for Canberra.
“The way we are delivering light rail – through a public private partnership – means we can actually spread the cost of the project over a 20-year period making it really affordable like any other project or service we deliver over many years. Light rail is not only great for our city, but it’s affordable.
“I can also reveal that the consortium building light rail has to achieve excellent outcomes for the community in line with key performance indicators before we make any payments, so the community can have confidence this will be a great addition to our public transport network.”
A range of construction activities will now commence, starting with utility relocation and protection. More visible construction, like track works and landscaping, will commence later in the year. Construction will be undertaken to minimise disruption to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Standard construction hours for the project are expected to be between 7am and 6pm Monday to Saturday. Some work will be undertaken on Sundays and at night as needed to reduce the impact to traffic.
To minimise impacts on traffic movements, the route will be divided into six working zones and each zone will be subdivided into smaller construction areas. There will be a range of mitigation measures in place to reduce the impacts of construction, and the community will be provided updates before construction activities begin in each zone.
The sod turning took place today in Mitchell where the light rail depot site will be located. The Mitchell site will incorporate a stabling yard for light rail vehicles, a maintenance facility and the operations centre.