GoldLinQ has laid the final piece of track after 30,000km of underground services was upgraded and relocated along the 13km stage one corridor of the Gold Coast light rail system.
With less than a year to go before passenger services, Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the project had come a long way in 2013 completing all track laying, energising the system and testing trams.
“Light rail track is now connected from the Gold Coast University Hospital Station near Griffith University all the way to Broadbeach South Station,” Mr Emerson said.
“In early 2014 the community will see the G:link trams testing along the whole route.
“Heavy rail track completion is celebrated with a symbolic ‘golden spike’ hammered in, with light rail the track is encased in concrete which is a different process but just as significant – this is this final pour of concrete in Surfers Paradise for the Gold Coast project.
“I look forward to seeing the first passengers get on board the G: next year once all tram testing and commissioning has been completed.”
Federal Member for Moncrieff the Hon Steven Ciobo MP welcomed the opportunity to ‘pick up a trowel’ and be part of this milestone concrete pour.
“Over the last 18 months rail crews have laid two lines of track north and southbound, the rail comes in 18 metre lengths and all up there is approximately 2800 tonnes of track laid for Queensland’s first light rail system,” Mr Ciobo said.
“Today is also a chance to recognise the commitment and hard work done by McConnell Dowell’s rail crews to achieve this historic milestone before they take a well earned break at the end of 2013.”
City of Gold Coast Deputy Mayor, Councillor Donna Gates, says getting the final piece of track in place is a momentous day for the Gold Coast.
“Today’s completion of the track really shows that the Gold Coast is going places. We’re not only on track to see the city’s trams running from mid next year, but we’re also well on the way to a major transformation of the city as a place to live, work, do business and visit,” she said.
“Light rail is one of many major projects that we have underway to transform the city, including the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, our exciting Cultural Precinct, revitalisation of Southport CBD including Chinatown, and a fresh approach to driving opportunity through initiatives including our City Plan 2015.”
With more than $430 million spent with local industries and 2.77 million staff hours logged, GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford said 2013 had been a busy and productive year on the Gold Coast light rail project.
“We’ve had plenty of excitement on the project this year with a crocodile found in the tracks and Tusked Frogs found on a worksite but we’ve also achieved some serious progress with underground services, track laid and trams testing,” Mr Mumford said.
“GoldLinQ has revamped the city underground with 30,000km of underground services laid, which end-to-end would be the same as driving from Brisbane to Perth seven times.”
Mr Mumford said he was proud of the consortium’s efforts and commitment to safety while building this significant project in the public eye.
“The community is watching an infrastructure project being built, from the first piece of track laid to stations taking shape and trams running along the system,” he said.
“People sometimes jump to assumptions that things aren’t happening, like enough landscaping, but the community actually has the chance to watch a project be completed in stages.”
Mr Mumford said Christmas construction shutdowns in 2012 and 2013 proved the project’s commitment to working with Gold Coast traders and residents while keeping the project on schedule to take passengers in mid-2014.
He said next year would see trams taking passengers for the first time on the Gold Coast following landscaping, footpath reinstatement and other finishing works.