Sydney is in the process of being reshaped and transformed with some huge huge developments planned for the CBD this year.
This morning commuters had a taste of what happens when major roadworks occur in a city with 21.5 million journeys on an average workday.
Preliminary work on the CBD and South East Light Rail project delayed traffic for over an hour, bringing the Sydney Harbour Bridge to a standstill on the first day back to work after the Christmas close-down after workers struck a cable that manages traffic signals. The work is meant to be part of identifying, relocating or protecting utilities such as power, gas and telecommunications, before the light rail is laid out.
In addition to the cable incident, a car accident at 8.15am approaching the Sydney Harbour Bridge made matters worse.
This afternoon Transport NSW apologised for the delays, but it also said this is just the start, with other work scheduled and a number of road closures expected.
“Transport for NSW is now refining its traffic management plan to help ease the flow of traffic through the city for the rest of the week.
“These particular works are focused on some of the busiest intersections in the city and is being carried out now because traffic in the CBD is at its lightest at this time of year.
“Transport for the NSW thanks customers for their patience and will continue to advise customers of the planned work.”
This part of the preparation for the light rail, which started on December 17, will be the last scheduled daytime work last until later in the year.
To combat traffic delays this week Transport NSW has suggest commuters use the city’s train network to move around the CBD over the next week.
Despite works on the development set to continue for another four to five years, the $1.6 billion light rail system will run every 2 minutes during peak hour and improve connections to buses and trains.
George Street will be turned into a pedestrian strip between Hunter and Bathurst streets, with footpaths widened, making room for cycleways, cafés and restaurants with outdoor dining areas.
To gauge an idea of just how much work is planned for Sydney and surrounding regions, economic forecasters BIS Shrapnel say New South Wales is expected to see around $82 billion in non-resources civil construction work done over the next five years – Victoria will see just $48 billion.
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