Major works in the centre of Parramatta have begun, bringing the new light rail line from Westmead to Carlingford one step closer.
Work on Church Street in the city centre, also known as ‘Eat Street’ due to its diversity of restaurants and cafes, has commenced.
Crews will remove the existing pavement and road surface to conduct deep excavation and moving or replacing underground utilities such as water, gas pipes, and telecommunication services.
Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said that the project was moving ahead to bring the new light rail line closer to completion.
“We know the community is eager to see this light rail built and we will be working hard over the next five months to make the most of this time,” he said.
The works will involve a micro-tunnelling machine that will reduce noise and impact compared to street-level work. The machine will move up to 10 metres a day.
“Our construction timetable together with innovative engineering techniques will see this precinct through to a fantastic new light rail network that will bring passengers into the heart of Parramatta,” said Constance.
The winter works program will be sped up to ensure that as much is done as possible before a construction grace period from 1 November until February 1 so that locals and visitors can return to the alfresco dining precinct during the summer.
Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said that to stimulate business activity during this period, the government will be sponsoring precinct activation works.
“We’re pleased to give businesses certainty that hoardings will come down at the beginning of November, giving everyone a break from construction,” said Lee.
“This is in addition to the many other ways we’re proudly supporting Eat Street.”
Initiatives include installing colourful shadecloth and hoarding, an app to attract patrons, a shop local competition, and business support programs.