Capital Metro moves another step closer to reality
The tale of the Canberra tram rolls on with contracts signed between the ACT Government and the successful light rail consortium, Canberra Metro. This is a major stage in the development of the project, as the ACT Government pushes hard to implement as many agreements as possible prior to the election later this year.
One highlight is the development of a new area called Civic Plaza at the southern end of Northbourne Avenue. The aim is to provide an accessible, usable and vibrant space between the Sydney and Melbourne buildings that will link the east and west sides of the CBD.
This might perhaps be one of the most exciting visible benefits of the light rail project. For decades Northbourne Avenue has provided a psychological barrier between the retail and commercial sides of the city.
New artist impressions demonstrate the capacity for the space to be developed into an active and enjoyable community space.
Landlords within the vicinity will be watching this one closely. Will, what is arguably the ugliest strip in the city, be revitalised into a space that Canberrans embrace rather than avoid? Or will the section between Alinga Street and London Circuit remain a wind-swept expanse of concrete that rips through the heart of the capital.
The first stage of the Capital Metro project includes design and construction of a 12km light rail route from the fast growing area of Gungahlin to the city, with 13 stops, depot, road, signalling and preparatory works, and the ongoing operation and maintenance of the light rail system.
Canberra Metro aims to complete construction in late 2018 and begin operations in early 2019.