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Sydneysiders were treated to an early Christmas present with the wraps coming off a large section of the George Street light rail transformation.
Fencing and barriers on the famous CBD strip near the QVB between King and Park Streets were removed, opening the street up to pedestrians for the first time in more than two years.
December 4, 2017... Sydney's George Street this morning. Source: Twitter/ Luke Hopewell
October, 2017... The area between King street and Martin Place. Picture: Toby Zerna
April, 2016... Construction underway near the QVB. Picture: Bill HearneThe extra space will allow for more shoppers during the busy Christmas retail period, and pave the way for a festive makeover including giant wreaths and more than 5000 suspended lights installed along the boulevard for the holiday season.
It’s a welcome relief for residents and businesses who’ve braved noise, dust and disruption since George St was closed off in October, 2015 - the first time the famous artery was shut off to cars since 1900.
Earlier this year, the state government finally caved in to a campaign to award compensation to those who have suffered from the impact of the light rail construction.
February, 2016... George Street at the Queen Victoria Building. Picture: Bill HearneExtensive and complex utility work in these zones has proven a challenge for crews since construction began, but the completion of civil construction in these two zones marks a major milestone for the project.
In order to open up the space over the busy retail period, some work will be held over until the New Year. From 2 January, discrete sections of fencing and barriers will be put in place while crews complete the QVB stop, as well as paving, smart poles and systems work in these zones.
Across town in Surry Hills, light rail crews are also working hard to substantially complete civil construction in zone 15, Devonshire Street between Chalmers and Elizabeth Streets, by the end of the year.
A section of George St between Park and King Streets has reopened to the public. Picture: Toby ZernaFencing will be removed in late December, allowing more space for pedestrians and improving access to the shops and restaurants in this bustling shopping precinct.
Some finishing works will continue in the New Year, including smart pole installation, paving and landscaping.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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