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Sydney's New Light Rail System Has Been Delayed Yet Again

The project is now slated for completion in May 2020 — 14 months later than originally promised.
By Libby Curran and Samantha Teague
October 04, 2018
By Libby Curran and Samantha Teague
October 04, 2018

The promised 2019 completion for Sydney's new southeast light rail system is now a distant memory, with the consortium behind the project today advising the New South Wales Government that it'll be delayed another two months.

May 2020 is now the projected completion date for the project, which will run from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kingsford. In case you haven't been keeping track, that's a 14-month delay. So far.

As reported by the SMH, this latest delay is due to an awry overhead wire. But, it's not the first road bump the 12-kilometre light rail has hit during its embattled construction. Back in March 2016 (yes, more than two years ago) construction was (understandably) halted after thousands of Indigenous artefacts were discovered in the area.

Then, earlier this year, the NSW Government found itself embroiled in a legal battle with the Spanish subcontractor heading up the build, slowing down progress considerably. At the time, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian declined to share details about the delays, though said the state would "not be held to ransom" by builder Acciona, which is taking Transport for NSW to court for the tidy sum of $1.2 billion.

Speaking of billions, Acciona has estimated the final cost of construction to be $1.8 billion — that's double the original $870 million estimate.

An inquiry into the impact of the construction of the light rail on local residents and businesses was then launched by the state in May. It received 193 submissions from locals and hearings are currently taking place in Sydney's Parliament House. Some of the businesses that say they've been impacted by the construction — or have been forced to close — include The Book Kitchen, Bishop Sessa and Cafe Jacks.

Testing on the CBD and South East Light Rail Project began in February.

Published on October 04, 2018 by Libby Curran
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