British construction company Laing O’Rouke has won the $955 million contract to renovate Central Station, NSW transport minister Andrew Constance announced today. Work on the new project will begin immediately in-line with the new Sydney Metro project, forcing the closure of two of its busiest platforms (13 and 14, with 15 already closed).
The redevelopment will include new underground platforms and a “Central Walk”– a 19-metre-wide, east-west underground concourse, which will connect Chalmers Street to the new Sydney Metro platforms being built beneath.
Once completed, the new access points and additional walkways are supposed to make it easier to transfer between services. More than 250,000 commuters use Central each day, but that number is expected to rise to 45,000 in the next two decades. Constance says Central Walk will support this rapid growth.
“Central is the backbone of public transport and customers tell us they want better and more convenient links. This project will create new entrances and easier interchanges for everyone,” he says in an official statement.
It’s not the first disruption to train networks in Sydney in recent memory. January’s strike action, the introduction of a new timetable late last year, and even the occasional “act of God” have put immense pressure on the system.
Shadow transport minister Jodi McKay said in an official statement the "dog of a timetable" would only be aggravated by the works at Central.
Constance says there was "always going to be this challenge with construction disruption”, but the government would seek to minimise the distraction.
Work on the Sydney Metro is slated for completion in 2022.