Scot MacDonald
23rd Jul 2018

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC has today joined Revitalising Newcastle Program Director Michael Cassel to inspect the completed light rail track between Worth Place and Darby Street prior to the stretch opening to traffic tomorrow.

The completed portion of Hunter Street represents around 40 percent of the on-road construction zone for light rail works, and now includes new widened footpaths, landscaping, and an upgraded road surface.

Mr MacDonald said reopening the road marked a significant milestone for Newcastle Light Rail and the $650 million Revitalising Newcastle project of the NSW Liberal National Government.

“The curtain is being raised on a new and improved Newcastle city centre, with widened pedestrian friendly footpaths, landscaping and light rail tracks running alongside a resurfaced Hunter Street,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Thanks to Revitalising Newcastle there is now a new permanent connection between Honeysuckle Drive and Hunter Street via Worth Place, while another will be established next month when the Steel Street connection opens.”

“2018 has been a big year of construction in the city, and there is a phenomenal amount of work which has taken place. We’ve upgraded Newcastle’s century-old sewer network, laid the fibre-optic ‘spine’ to enable the city’s smart future, and now we’re returning traffic and parking to a major stretch of the city’s main street.”

“Newcastle Light Rail is a project largely delivered by locals, with more than 2,000 individuals having worked on site, and the community should take pride in how well it is coming together.”

“I commend the Revitalising Newcastle team, HDC, Transport and Downer for keeping this $650 million project on time and on budget. Construction has progressed to the advised timeline and we are on track for services to begin early 2019.”

Revitalising Newcastle Program Director Michael Cassel said reopening from Union to Darby Street on time was testament to the team’s hard work.

“This is a project with many moving parts and stakeholders. We are working with Newcastle City Council on footpath and smart city works, utilities including Hunter Water and Ausgrid, gas and telecommunications providers, and of course our managing contractor on construction. However, everyone is focussed the same goal of quickly returning a vastly improved CBD to the community.”