It is full steam ahead for Stage 2 of the Gold Coast Light Rail extension with construction to start along the 7.3-kilometre route next month.
Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe today announced permanent works on Stage 2 would start in July following the completion of site investigations.
“Construction for the light rail extension is now on the fast-track and will support up to 1000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and operation,” Mr Hinchcliffe
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“Since the Queensland Government and GoldLinQ finalised project documents on 28 April 2016, GoldLinQ’s construction contractor CPB Contractors have worked hard on the detailed design and approvals process and will start construction early next month.
“Stage 2 will link the tram to the train and transform the Gold Coast, improving connectivity between Brisbane and the Gold Coast and delivering significant economic benefits and job opportunities for the region.
“Stage 2 will improve regional connectivity, providing public transport users with easy transfer between light rail, heavy rail and bus which will help to ease road congestion.”
Mr Hinchliffe said significant construction activity would soon begin in areas between Helensvale heavy rail station and the light rail station at Gold Coast University Hospital.
“Construction will continue into 2017 with testing to occur in the second half of next year to ensure there will be trams carrying passengers to and from Helensvale before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games starting in April,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Stage 2 is a critical project for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games that we were determined to see built.
“The extension connects five competition venues to accommodation and public transport interchanges and will ensure the Gold Coast is Games-Ready to host the crowds of visitors who will flock to watch all the sporting competition in April 2018.
Federal Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said Stage 2 would be a key part of the integrated transport network that was vital to sustainably managing long-term growth in South East Queensland.
“Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 is a transformational project for the region and will complete the missing public transport link between Brisbane and the Gold Coast,” Mr Fletcher said.
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said light rail was vital to service the needs of the growing region.
“Gold Coast Light Rail patronage continues to exceed expectations and Stage 2 will ensure our city is best-placed to host the Games.
“With construction set to start next month, we’re on track to see this vital second stage of the light rail completed before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games,” Mr Tate said.
The 7.3km extension route runs from Gold Coast University Hospital light rail station, next to the Smith Street Motorway then near the Gold Coast Rail line to connect with heavy rail at Helensvale station.
Stage 2 effectively uses existing road and rail corridors with the new track to run near the Smith Street Motorway and next to the Gold Coast Rail Line and the inter-regional transport corridor.
Stage 2 will include three new light rail stations at Parkwood East, Parkwood and Helensvale and an extra 1400 park’n’ride carparks at Helensvale and Parkwood stations.