Artist impressions, from top: a pedestrian-only ‘Eat Street’ ahead of Parramatta Light Rail major construction; the historic Lennox Bridge.

The $2.4 billion Parramatta Light Rail will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia, revitalising the region and communities along the route. Major construction to deliver the light rail program will begin in 2020, with the network expected to commence services in 2023.

Transport for NSW acknowledges that building in the heart of an active city centre presents significant challenges. The beating heart of Parramatta is ‘Eat Street’, a famed dining precinct along Church Street, Parramatta, offering outdoor dining, bars, restaurants and cafés.

This area relies on passing foot traffic and can be considered especially sensitive to disruption from construction works. For these reasons, a number of significant initiatives are underway to support local businesses along the popular dining strip.

Transport for NSW is committed to supporting and managing impacts on local businesses before as well as during construction, and continues to work closely with local business owners to ensure they have all the information and support that they require.

 

What’s happening in 2020?

The construction schedule for Parramatta’s ‘Eat Street’ has been developed to minimise impact on local businesses as much as possible.

February - June 2020

From February 2020 (see map, above), Church Street Parramatta will become a pedestrian-only zone between Macquarie Street and Market Street (including the dining strip known as ‘Eat Street’).

Mobile work zones will be set up along Church Street to enable preparation works ahead of major construction. There will be a minimum of one mobile work zone per block between each of the three intersections. These will stretch from kerb to kerb and will be approximately 20 metres long.

These will cause some disruption, for shorter periods, but will help to ensure that major construction crews ‘get in and out’ as quickly as possible, and that hoarding along Eat Street is up for the shortest time possible.

June - November 2020

From June 2020 (see map, below), major construction for the Parramatta Light Rail will begin along Church Street (including ‘Eat Street’), from Macquarie to Market Streets. At this time, outdoor dining infrastructure will be removed and construction hoarding will be erected.

Supporting local businesses

Transport for NSW recognises the importance of supporting businesses before and during construction. More than 100 businesses along the Parramatta Light Rail alignment have now signed up to free mentoring from Realise Business, appointed by Transport for NSW to help businesses build resilience and make the most of opportunities before and during construction.

'Activate Parramatta', a Transport for NSW plan for businesses impacted by Parramatta Light Rail construction, has also been developed to promote local businesses, events and activities, including local area marketing campaigns offering special deals and discounts. Visit www.activateparramatta.com.au.

Breaks from construction: Eat Street

A construction ‘grace period’ will be observed each year on Eat Street during the summer months, while the Parramatta Light Rail is being built. This is a commitment to local businesses from Transport for NSW to ensure that diners, tourists and shoppers do not experience constant construction works during the busy holiday season.

It means that each year on Eat Street, during the warmer months from November 1 until January 31, construction hoardings will be removed, temporary outdoor tables and seating will be introduced, and Transport for NSW will work with local businesses to deliver activities and events that will attract people to the Parramatta CBD.

Engineering innovation

The 2020 major construction schedule for Parramatta Light Rail along Church Street, Parrramatta, will combine innovative technology and inventive engineering to minimise disruption

Major construction includes, but is not limited to, removal of the existing road surface, deep excavations, the laying of new underground utility services, construction of light rail tracks, footpath works and landscaping. Construction hoarding will be installed to ensure work areas are restricted for the safety of the general public

Parramatta Connect (CPB Downer Joint Venture), the construction team engaged to carry out these light rail infrastructure works on behalf of Transport for NSW, is using augmented reality and digital 3D technology to map more than 300 underground utility services which will provide real-time updates to inform construction planning.

 

The team will also use a micro-tunnelling machine (similar to a tunnel-boring machine but on a smaller scale) to drive underneath Church Street, from Parramatta River to Centenary Square, to construct drainage. This is intended to reduce anticipated noise and impact from the work, compared to street level works. The tunnel will be about six metres below the surface, and launched from a pit on the south side of Lennox Bridge.

Above: augmented reality technology gives an under-the-ground view of important utility services found beneath Church Street.

Keeping you informed

Transport for NSW is committed to providing regular and frequent information to the community and local businesses about the Parramatta Light Rail program, to manage impacts and keep people informed. For several years now, Transport for NSW place managers have been door-knocking, surveying and talking to businesses along the Parramatta Light Rail alignment to gain a better understanding of how local Parramatta businesses operate, and to provide information and updates about the project. We appreciate your patience and invite you to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Parramatta Light Rail features and benefits

  • High-frequency ‘turn-up-and-go’ light rail services seven days a week, approximately every 7.5 minutes during peak periods.
  • 16 fully accessible stops, integrated into the urban environment.
  • Modern and comfortable air-conditioned vehicles, 45m long and driver-operated, carrying up to 300 customers.
  • Will integrate with rail, bus, Metro and/or ferry facilities at Westmead, Parramatta CBD and Carlingford.
  • Two shared light rail and pedestrian zones will be created along Church Street (between Market and Macquarie Streets) and Macquarie Street (between Horwood Place and Smith Street), Parramatta.
  • The Parramatta Light Rail will replace the train line between Camellia and Carlingford, offering frequent “turn up and go” services to connect Carlingford, Camellia, Parramatta and Westmead.
  • A new Active Transport Link (shared walking and bike riding path) will be built between Carlingford and Parramatta.
  • Fully integrated with the NSW Opal ticketing system for seamless travel.
  • Expected to take the equivalent of 25,000 cars off the road by 2041.
  • Parramatta Light Rail will provide a boost to businesses, with around 28,000 people expected to get on and off light rail services every day by 2026, with stops located in and around Eat Street and Parramatta Square.