Construction works on the $1.2 billion Stage 3 of the Gold Coast Light Rail (GCLR) project has commenced, with eight new stations along the city’s coastline slated for completion in 2025.
The extension will take the G:link system a further 6.7km from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads, and also include an upgrade of the existing depot and stabling facilities.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the stage three extension will support approximately 760 local jobs.
“And if any of the previous stages are to go by, 90 per cent of workers came from the Gold Coast and surrounding regions,” Palaszczuk said.
"When complete, light rail Stage 3 will connect 27 kilometres of the Gold Coast to reliable and accessible public transport all the way from Helensvale to Burleigh Heads.
“Gold Coast Light Rail is an essential part of our successful delivery of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and will play an even more important role in the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Completed in 2014, Stage 1 of the project saw contractor McConnell Dowell construct 13km of light rail tracks from Parklands to Broadbeach, introducing 16 new stations along the way.
Stage 2 – which involved the construction of a 7.3km-long light rail link between Parkwood and Helensvale - was completed five years ago by CPD Contractors in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Stage 3 of the project has received financial backing from all three levels of government, with the Queensland government committing $713.3 million to the project, followed by the Australian Government ($395.6 million) and the City of Gold Coast ($91.5 million).
Since opening in 2014, the G:link light rail has clocked more than 60 million paid passenger trips. August saw 800,000 light rail trips recorded - the highest figure since the pandemic shrunk patronage.
Melbourne-based construction company John Holland will continue works on the underground services infrastructure until the end of the year.
"The focus for the next 12 months will be on upgrading major underground services from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads and preparing the highway for the light rail track to be installed,” GoldinQ chairman John Witheriff said.
"Light rail's popularity with locals and visitors to the Gold Coast, gives us confidence it will continue to be a highly used public transport mode into the future.
“Our contractors are committed to listening and responding to the needs of the businesses and local community as work progresses.
Traffic changes are taking place on the Gold Coast Highway to relocate and upgrade major water main, sewer and gas infrastructure.
John Holland CEO Joe Barr said he is thrilled to be entering the next stage of a city-shaping project for the Gold Coast.
“After significant early works, we’re now in a strong position to upgrade and relocate the existing underground infrastructure, before moving into the next critical phases of construction – including road civil works and rail and track installation,” Holland said.
“We'll do everything we can to minimise impacts during construction.
“We'll also continue to actively advertise for and engage with local workers and sub-contractors to be part of this city-changing project."
Early planning for Stage 4 of the light rail project – which proposes a 13km extension south from Burleigh Heads to Coolangatta – is underway.
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