The light rail extension to Burleigh is facing further delays with transport officials confirming they still haven’t signed a contract for major construction work.
Construction on Stage 3 from Broadbeach South to Burleigh should have been well and truly underway right now but the project has been held up by contract disputes.
The cost of the extension has also blown out from an original estimate of $709 million to $1.02 billion.
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The state government has signed a contract with John Holland to conduct early works on the project, including moving essential services.
But a deal on major construction is yet to be reached.
Transport Department Director-General Neil Scales has told a Budget Estimates hearing that COVID-19 and issues with other light rail projects around the country have been a major factor.
“The industry is now pricing in risk in a totally different way. We’ve also had Covid-19 which has just not disrupted this project but has disrupted a whole lot of other projects.,” Mr Scales said.
“We haven’t signed on the dotted line yet but we have awarded an $80 million pre-works contract which is underway at the moment… to start moving underground services – gas, electric, telecom.”
Major construction had already been pushed back to late-2021 but it’s not clear whether that timeline will also be pushed back.
Mr Scales insists they ‘getting on with it.’
“We haven’t signed on the dotted line yet, I can’t get away from that…but we are proceeding with the project.”
Meantime, Transport Minister Mark Bailey has confirmed the new train station earmarked for Helensvale North as part of the Cross-River Rail project will now be called Hope Island Station following community feedback.