Light rail to deliver long-term Devonshire Street improvements

21 August 2016

CBD Coordinator General Marg Prendergast today announced plans for underground power lines in Surry Hills, future-proofing a possible light rail stop at Wimbo Park, as part of major light rail construction which begins in the area on 2 September.

“Perhaps more than anywhere else along the CBD and South East Light Rail route, there’s an opportunity to make massive improvement to the streetscape and environment of Devonshire Street,” Ms Prendergast said.

“We’ve developed a number of plans for local improvements that will benefit the Surry Hills area for years to come, from putting the existing powerlines underground to great new ‘pocket parks’ flanking Devonshire Street.

“Undergrounding the power lines in this area has been on the City of Sydney’s agenda for a number of years, and we saw an opportunity to minimise disruption to the community by completing the work as part of light rail construction.

“It wasn’t possible to underground the light rail power supply on Devonshire Street, but undergrounding the power lines will contribute to de-cluttering the street and help it look its best.

“Sections of the community continue to call for a second Surry Hills stop on the new light rail network, and while our planning work didn’t identify demand for a stop at Wimbo Park, off Bourke Street, we have listened and will do the groundwork to ensure any future addition of a stop there is not prohibitively expensive or disruptive.

“A big priority for us on this project is to contribute to the local landscape and environment where we can. We’re adding additional trees in areas along the route including the increasing the number of new trees we plant in Surry Hills.”

The first stage of construction in Surry Hills will take place on Devonshire Street, between Chalmers and Elizabeth streets (zone 15) from 2 September 2016.

The work will mean motorists will not be able to drive west in this section and Devonshire Street will be reduced to one eastbound lane.

“Devonshire Street is a narrow street and to ensure the safety of our construction crew and the public, major traffic changes will be place,” Ms Prendergast said.

“To allow crews to work in this confined site all parking, taxi and loading zones will be removed and commercial and residential waste collection will no longer be possible from Devonshire Street."