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Builders rushing to finish the behind-schedule Spencer Street Station redevelopment will stop work for two weeks over Christmas, despite requests from construction firm Leighton Holdings that the Government close the station at night because it needs more site access.
The news comes as restricted operating hours sought by Leighton and developer Civic Nexus take effect, closing the station to metropolitan trains after 10pm.
Leighton has long blamed cost and time blow-outs on restricted access to the site because of the station's continued operation. The Auditor-General reported last month that Civic Nexus is claiming compensation of more than $35 million from the Government as a result.
But it emerged yesterday that work on the site would stop on Christmas Eve for two weeks to January 10. The two-week period would have offered the chance to work on the site during reduced commuter traffic.
"This defies understanding," Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said. "Christmas is one of the quietest periods at the station in terms of foot traffic and to not take advantage of that seems . . . counter-productive."
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