Sydney’s inner-west light rail extension is going full steam ahead

Sydney’s inner-west light rail extension is going full steam ahead

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Inner West light rail

The $176 million light rail project has a deadline for completion of 2014. Picture: Soulas Angelo Source: The Daily Telegraph

THE NSW government says it is moving full steam ahead with Sydney’s inner-west light rail extension, with construction starting next month.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced John Holland has been awarded the design and construction contract for the $176 million project with a deadline for completion by 2014.

She said funding for the extension from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill would be included in next month’s state budget.

“We’re serious about light rail,” she told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

“You’ll find that additional allocation in the budget this year.”

However, Ms Berejiklian said the previous government’s idea for a shared green pathway for cyclists and pedestrians would not be resurrected.

The GreenWay was a planned five kilometre stretch of walking and cycling pathways surrounded by bushland and recreational areas connecting Sydney Harbour to Cooks River.

“That was a commitment made by the Labor party, one of several they had made that they’d never kept,” she said.

“When we came to government and did our homework we found the cost evaluation and the engineering required… would be very costly as well as have engineering challenges.”

Ms Berejiklian said people would be on the ground at several locations actively working on the light rail project from next month.

“Towards the end of this year there’ll be more consultations with local councils about those exact station locations.”

The former Labor government announced the extension to the light-rail in 2010, committing to a completion deadline of 2012.

Ms Berejiklian blamed the two-year delay on the former Labor government.

Premier Barry O’Farrell welcomed the announcement of the appointment of a contractor to the project, saying the extension would get people off Sydney’s roads.

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