Engineering, Passenger Rail

Light rail works on George Street to finish up for Christmas

Major construction work on George Street for Sydney’s light rail line will be complete by early December, allowing more space to pedestrians in the period before Christmas.

The announcement comes after a report in The Sydney Morning Herald featured the complaints of George Street shop-owners concerned about yet another Christmas plagued by light rail construction interference.

The government’s release of a definitive date for the opening may ease the thoughts of some retailers: by 3 December, all fencing and barriers (apart from those around the light rail stop outside the QVB) will be removed from the 2 major completed work zones between King and Park Streets.

“This year, George Street will get a festive makeover inspired by London’s Oxford Street as we move out of sections of George Street where major civil construction for the light rail is complete, ahead of the busy Christmas retail period,” coordinator general Marg Prendergast said.

Some finishing work, such as paving, intersections, smart poles and systems work are to continue in the new year along with the construction of the QVB light rail stop.

Prendergast said the opening of the section of George Street would allow people to get a first look at the future pedestrian boulevard along the stretch.

“Off the back of positive feedback from retailers about our Christmas activation program last year, we’re looking forward to this year’s program which will see a series of gigantic Christmas wreaths with more than 5000 sparkly, glowing lights suspended above George Street,” she said.

Work at other zones in Surrey Hills at Devonshire Street, between Chalmers and Elizabeth Streets near Central, is also expected to be very close to completion by the end of the year, with fencing and barriers to come down in late December, in time for the new year’s busy retail period.