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Canberra Today 14°/16° | Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Light rail to Woden gathering pace ahead of time

INITIAL timelines that were laid down for the next stage of Canberra’s light rail network has been fast-tracked with works set to commence by the end of 2021.

The ACT government publicly released updated plans for stage 2A on Wednesday (April 28) after appointing the project’s technical advisers to facilitate design and planning approvals.

The updated delivery schedule for the first part of the $90 million infrastructure build will have the National Capital Authority planning and works approvals lodged around October.

Construction of the next 1.7 kilometres of the light rail track line extending from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park is set to follow the raising of London Circuit.

A new public transport interchange and light rail station to be located at Woden will also commence before the end of the year that will link up with Commonwealth Park.

American multinational engineering firm AECOM was selected to facilitate the design and planning approvals for the entirety of the next stage.

Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel, has predicted the works will create more than 6000 jobs in design and construction.

“The benefits of this project will be long lasting for Canberra with the creation of a frequent and reliable transport spine that better connects our major town centres and residential and employment hubs,” Mr Steel said.

“We are releasing the updated stage 2A delivery plan now, so Canberrans can understand the different stages required for construction and the work they can expect to start seeing over the coming year.”

The announcement was to soften the impact on motorists ahead of the likelihood that initial works will cause disruptions for months.

AECOM was selected as the project’s technical adviser because of “the firm’s proven track record” on delivering light rail projects and securing high-quality infrastructure outcomes.

“We are committed to local industry participation in the project,” Mr Steel said.

AECOM has an established office in Canberra where they will engage more than 160 locally-based specialists to deliver the different stages of the project.

Canberra area manager for AECOM, Karen Billington, was chuffed to be chosen to design stage 2 of light rail between the City and Woden.

“It is an opportunity to give back to the community and further enhance Canberra’s status as one of the world’s most liveable and competitive cities,” Ms Billington said.

“We’re looking forward to sharing our insights from other light rail projects and working on this transformational major infrastructure project, which combines urban design, place-making, heritage, sustainability, environment and engineering.”

The project is part of the ambitious ACT government’s $14 billion infrastructure plan that the government has promised will grow Canberra’s employment based to 250,000 jobs by 2025.

Stage 2A is jointly funded with the federal government, who is providing $135 million to help build the light rail.

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Andrew Mathieson

Andrew Mathieson

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