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The cost of Sydney’s light rail project has blown out to $2.9bn, with New South Wales’s transport minister acknowledging the project has been a “difficult build”.
The final construction cost was confirmed by Andrew Constance’s office on Friday evening, coming in at $1.3bn more than first forecast.
Constance said no one was denying that the light rail construction has been difficult.
“We took the busiest street in the nation and ripped [it] up to transform it into the open, inviting boulevard it is today,” he said in a statement.
Daytime trial runs between Town Hall and Circular Quay began in August, with the line due to open to the public in December.
The service will move 6,570 people in both directions during peak times, with each 67-metre tram able to carry up to nine standard busloads of passengers, Constance said.
“It’s a really exciting time for this project and I can’t wait until everyone gets to jump on board and ride this fantastic transport solution,” he said.
The NSW Labor leader, Jodi McKay, criticised the government’s management of the project.
“Not only is the light rail already a year late but now we’ve learned it’s $1.3bn over budget,” McKay said in a statement on Friday. “This is a testament to the Liberals’ bad management.
“The money for this government’s blowouts on major infrastructure projects has to come from somewhere.”
“They can’t do everything so they will either have to privatise or cut.”
This article first appeared on www.theguardian.com
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