Construction in Parramatta CBD underway ahead of revitalisation efforts

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.

Major works begin on Parramatta light rail

The first sod has been turned at the former Rydalmere train station for major construction on the Parramatta Light Rail project.

Construction has commenced following the closure of the T6 Carlingford Line. 

Acting Minister for Transport and Roads Paul Toole said it was an exciting time for Greater Parramatta as works ramp up for the new high-frequency light rail.

“Today marks a significant step on a project that will transform transport connectivity in a growing part of Sydney,” Toole said.

“We’ve already hit the ground running with the decommissioning works along the closed Carlingford rail line, in preparation for its conversion to light rail,” Toole said.

“The new 12-kilometre light rail project will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia, and is set to open in 2023.”

This follows the removal of the last level crossing on Parramatta Road last week.

Parramatta Light Rail Program Director Anand Thomas said the level crossing on Parramatta Road at Granville was one of the last remaining in Sydney.

“With the closure of the 132-year-old T6 Carlingford Line on Sunday 5 January to make way for the Parramatta Light Rail, it was time to decommission this level crossing which regularly stopped traffic to make way for train services,” Thomas said.

There are now less than ten active level crossings in Sydney, including seven on the Richmond line, one in Yennora and another in Fairfield.

The rail corridor from Clyde to Rosehill will not be converted to light rail and will be retained as a future public transport corridor.

David Borger, Executive Director of the Western Sydney Business Chamber said that the start of major works on Stage 1 should not be used as a distraction from the need to roll out the full Parramatta Light Rail network that includes the extension through Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point, and  Sydney Olympic Park.

“The NSW Government has been reluctant to commit to delivering on its promise of building the full Parramatta Light Rail network. It would be a tremendous shame to risk Stage 1 becoming a white elephant by not connecting it to the growing communities springing up along the shores of the Parramatta River,” Borger said.

Borger said Sydney’s leading peak industry bodies and the City of Parramatta along with 70 large organisations in Western Sydney wrote to the NSW Government last year endorsing the need for Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2.

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said the project was a major win for the region.

“This Parramatta Light Rail will bring people living in Greater Parramatta together with a safe and efficient public transport network,” Lee said.

“It will improve connections to popular key destinations across the region, while also linking into Sydney’s greater public transport networks.”

The Parramatta Light Rail will be built by a joint venture of Downer and CPB Contractors, and will be operated by the Great River City Light Rail consortium, which includes Transdev and CAF Rail Australia.

Toole said Transport for NSW was working hard to minimise the impacts of construction on businesses and the local community.

“Some disruption is unavoidable, which is why we will continue working with businesses to ensure they have the information and support they need,” Toole said.

He said Transport for NSW will also pause construction from 1 November until 31 January each year to minimise disruption at Parramatta’s Eat Street until the line is complete.

T6 Carlingford Line permanently closes for construction

Parramatta Light Rail and Sydney Trains commenced decommissioning works on the T6 Carlingford Line on January 5 as part of its conversion to dual-track light rail last Sunday.

The Parramatta Light Rail team are currently undertaking decommissioning works on the rail track at Clyde Station and near the Parramatta Road intersection at Granville for the next few weeks. 

The $2.4 billion Parramatta Light Rail will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia

From January 10th the high priority has been piling works, installing rail signage, and assembling construction cable routes and pulling at Rosehill Station to Clyde Station within the rail corridor.

24/7 operation works will commence between January 18 and 19 that will involve track removal, construction of concrete wall, rail cutting and welding, and reconfiguration work at the level crossing on Parramatta Road.

Parramatta Light Rail said equipment will include, but is not limited to, concrete saws, boring machines, jackhammers, compactors, power tools, trucks, light vehicles, light towers, and vacuum excavation trucks.  

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said Greater Parramatta will see new light rail bridges built, 60,000 tonnes of concrete poured, and more than 215,000 tonnes of earth moved to make way for the Parramatta Light Rail.

Hi-rail equipment will include excavators, dump trucks, and elevated work platforms. 

“The community will start to see work ramping up with fencing and hoardings installed along the future light rail route, and construction sites established,” Lee said.

Decommissioning works are due to conclude at the end of the month.

Over 1,000 people attended a farewell event hosted by Sydney Trains and Transport Heritage NSW to ride a historic Red Set F1 before the closure of the rail tracks on January 5th.

The light rail is expected to open in 2023 and transport around 28,000 people through the Parramatta CBD every day. 

Parramatta Light Rail construction ramps up

The Parramatta community will soon see major construction work commence towards the Parramatta Light Rail. Fencing and hoardings are to be installed along the future route from January 2020, and construction sites established, according to NSW government member for Parramatta, Geoff Lee.

From February 2020, Church Street between Macquarie and Market Streets will become a pedestrian only zone, with mobile work sites established for utility relocation work. From June 2020, major work will commence.

Major work will include the building of light rail bridges, pouring of 60,000 tonnes of concrete, and moving more than 215,000 tonnes of earth in Greater Parramatta.

Work will begin once the single-track T6 Carlingford Line has been closed for conversion to the dual-track light rail. The Parramatta Light Rail will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia and is set to open in 2023.

Early and enabling works, including site investigation work, took place in 2019, in preparation for major construction. More than 1000 underground site investigations have taken place so far, in order to identify known utility services, such as water, gas, telecommunications and electricity, under the light rail route.

“The community will start to see work ramping up with fencing and hoardings installed along the future light rail route, and construction sites established,” Lee said.

“We know these works will involve some disruption and it’s not going to be easy. It’s our priority to manage the project carefully and minimise the impacts of construction on businesses and the community.”

“Transport for NSW has spent more than three years carefully planning and undertaking detailed investigations to reduce the risk of encountering unknown underground utilities, heritage finds and contamination.”

Lee has said that if, during construction, unknown utilities or heritage items are encountered, there is a “robust process in place to allow effective preservation or localised removal on site”.