FINALLY, the end of major light rail construction in Newcastle has arrived.
Revitalising Newcastle is set to open the remainder of Hunter and Scott streets on Friday night ahead of Saturday’s launch event of the restored Newcastle Station.
The removal of barriers and opening of the roads will come as a welcome boost for city traders, who will be hoping to see an influx of people in the city now major work is over.
Hunter Street works, which started in September last year, have included replacing century-old sewerage infrastructure, upgrading 3.5 kilometres of footpaths and building 5.5 kilometres of light rail track.
“In the past year Revitalising Newcastle has made more upgrades to CBD roads, footpaths and services like water and sewer than you’d otherwise see in decades,” program director Michael Cassel said
“More than 3,000 individuals have worked on the Newcastle Light Rail site, ranging from engineers to excavator drivers, and each person has contributed to this project being kept on time, and on budget.”
Mr Cassel described the reopening as “a watershed moment for Newcastle”.
“With light rail construction complete, the streets clear, and new public spaces open to the community, the conditions are right for the city to come alive,” he said.
“In October we’re holding a celebration on Market Street Lawn where the community can enjoy free entertainment, visit food stalls and even walk through one of our light rail vehicles.”
The Station will be launched with a free all-age event on Saturday, starting at 5pm.
It will host monthly night markets up until Christmas, providing a place to shop, eat and listen to live music in one of the city’s most unique spaces.
“Over the coming months Novocastrians will see more light rail movements up and down the track as everything from brakes to bells are meticulously checked for safety and performance prior to the service opening early next year,” Mr Cassel said.
“I’d like to thank the community for their patience during what has been an enormous job, delivering an improved city centre with new spaces, better connections to the waterfront, and Australia’s first wire-free light rail system.”
The Station launch is a free event for all ages starting at 5pm on Saturday.
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