Scot MacDonald
11th May 2018

Workers building Newcastle’s light rail have surpassed half a million work hours as construction continues to progress along the route with 1,500 metres of track laid so far, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said today.

The construction milestone comes as the Sewer main replacements on Hunter Street are finished and the first fully completed section of track near Brown Street is now open.

“It is pleasing to see this milestone reached on this project, which remains on schedule and on budget,” Mr MacDonald said.

“With light rail construction starting in September 2017, workers have already clocked up the equivalent of 300 employees’ annual workload, which is no surprise when you see the progress made to date.”

“More than 1,700 individuals have worked on the light rail construction site, the civil and rail contractors are based in Newcastle, and so is the manufacturer that handles the rail prior to installation. This is truly a project built by locals.”

Revitalising Newcastle Program Director Michael Cassel said there had been significant progress far this year, with the track starting to take shape through the city.

“So much of the construction effort is below ground, and with most of that part of the job done, you can now see track coming together along the route by the day.

“More than a quarter of the track is now built, and we’re on schedule to have construction completed on time later this year and trams operational in early 2019.

Mr Cassel said Revitalising Newcastle was also working with Council to widen and upgrade footpaths through the city centre.

“We’re starting to see our new footpaths completed along Hunter Street, and anyone who has been to Civic lately would have noticed widened, blue-stone paved sidewalks that will be the hallmark of our pedestrian friendly city centre.”

“When construction is complete later this year it will be like the city centre has had a full makeover, with new footpaths, roads and landscaping.”

“Newcastle is still open for business during light rail construction, and I encourage locals to visit the city centre, see progress on the track, and visit some of the unique businesses on offer.”