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HERE is the first exclusive look at the Gold Coast’s planned $200 million light rail extension to The Spit.
Under four options being proposed by Gold Coast City Council, trams would veer off the main line south of the Sundale Bridge, transporting hordes of holiday-makers to Sea World, hotels and potentially a casino resort and other attractions on The Spit.
The options will go to public consultation today.
Already enormously successful with millions of passengers each year, the second stage of the Gold Coast’s light rail network will see trams link to commuter trains at Helensvale station by early next year, while there are also plans for the tracks to extend as far south as Burleigh and eventually Gold Coast Airport and the border.
However, with a $3 billion resort planned for The Spit and the area’s increased popularity already placing a burden on roads, the council has devised four options for a light rail link — at no cost to ratepayers.
The proposed extension to the light rail on the Gold Coast. Picture: SuppliedIt is expected future developments on The Spit would bear the cost of the project.
Under the proposal, some northbound trams would continue to head to Gold Coast University Hospital as normal, while others would veer east at Main Beach.
Southbound trams would not head to The Spit, but passengers could change trams at either the existing Main Beach station, or a new station to be built nearby.
Trams would either run through the commercial heart of Main Beach, or skirt along its edges, passing by the Gold Coast Broadwater and Southport Yacht Club.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said trams leading to Main Beach and The Spit could reinvigorate the entire area.
Main Beach’s once glitzy shopping precinct has withered since the global financial crisis.
“Light rail has brought new life and new investment along the entire first stage. Now, it’s Main Beach’s turn,” he said.
“This spur line would be a shot in the arm for businesses in the area.”
While still in the early planning stages, it is expected trams would operate on the 2.6km route every 15 minutes, passing the Southport Yacht Club, Palazzo Versace, Sea World and potentially an ASF casino resort before heading back south to Pacific Fair shopping centre.
The council hopes tram passengers will eventually be able to travel from Gold Coast Airport to The Spit without changing lines. So far, there is no estimation on a start or completion date for the project.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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