Tuesday, July 15, 2014

First earth turned for Capital Metro light rail in Canberra

WIN News report on this historic occasion

July 14 is a historic day for Canberra. A spade went into the ground and when that occurred, the first physical act on the way to improved public transport for Canberra began. Although this was as part of the services investigation, and not as part of actual track being constructed, it is an important step. Earth has turned on light rail in Canberra!

The works will begin in Gungahlin and progress along the corridor towards Civic and will take several months. The machinery used is similar to that used to install cable underground all over Canberra, although they are looking for services, not installing them.

The Canberra Times 'Light Rail utility study begins in Gungahlin' report is here.

The Minister for Capital Metro Agency was on hand with Emma Thomas, Project Director, and the staff from local company Leach Steger who will carry out the investigation into the underground services.

Simon Corbell and staff from Capital Metro and Leach Steger

The Minister's  office issued the following press release:

South Canberra company plays an important role in Capital Metro project

The Capital Metro Agency today started a program of utility services investigation works by Kambah company Leach Steger that will provide further detail around the location of underground services along the light rail corridor.
Minister for Capital Metro, Simon Corbell, said the works were a critical part of informing the project's next phase of design, in addition to providing more certainty around costs.
"This is an important and exciting step for the Capital Metro project. These investigations will provide the Capital Metro Agency with required detail to further progress their early designs and to validate the projected costs.
"I am very pleased to say this work is being planned and delivered out of local offices and using local experts. The Canberra office of Brown Consulting is working closely with Kambah-based survey company Leach Steger to deliver these works and this is a great example of Capital Metro engaging well with local industry."
Utilities can present a significant risk for infrastructure projects and this activity is one of many steps teh government is taking to ensure the first stage of light rail in Canberra is well planned, managed and delivered.
"A great deal of work has already occurred to get to this point and through desktop analysis and detailed discussions with utility owners Capital Metro has developed a good understanding of the utility network. This work will take that understanding to a far more detailed level.
"These investigations, which will include careful excavation techniques such as potholing and trenching, will be delivered between Gungahlin and the City, starting at the Gungahlin end."
The works are expected to take three to four months to complete, during which almost 1,000 small excavations will be used to verify the location and the condition of the utilities. In each case a photo will be taken of the infrastructure and this will be combined with spatial data that is fed into the stage one designs. The excavations will then be carefully filled in and the area will be monitored to ensure the right levels are maintained.  
"As these works will occur alongside and sometimes within a busy roadway, they will be managed carefully, with a reduced speed limit, signage and in some instances, traffic controllers in place to coordinate traffic safely. Aspects of this work that require traffic changes to busy intersections will be completed outside of peak times to support efficient traffic and pedestrian flows," Mr Corbell said.
Weekly updates on works progress and upcoming activities will be provided on the Capital Metro website.

For more frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news, please visit our Facebook page 'Light Rail for Canberra'.  

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