Revised timetable for New MetroRail
The State Government today announced a revised timetable and budget for the final stage of the New MetroRail project.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the Government had to make a decision by the end of this month whether the project was to finish by December 2006 or April 2007.
"Leighton Contractors senior management advised me last week that it was unlikely they would finish their work in the city until December 2006," Ms MacTiernan said.
"This means it is not practical to expect the RailLink Joint Venture to have all their work finished by the same time.
"We expect to have trains running on the line by December 2006, but we cannot guarantee operational services before April 2007.
"The public can see the extensive progress we have already made and will understand the difficulties in delivering a major capital works project in an overheated construction climate.
"The delays at the city end were largely caused by heritage protection works at Wellington and William Streets, engineering complexities on the foreshore and industrial disputes.
"While the bulk of the project is expected to be completed by December 2006, this time extension will enable thorough testing and commissioning of the line before passenger services start in April 2007.
"This is still well ahead of our original 2002 scheduled date of December 2007."
Ms MacTiernan said that while the project was still within budget - the Government had decided to lift the contingency sum by $45.193million - lifting the total cost of the project to $1,563,365million.
"This need to add 3 per cent in potential project costs is largely due to the last two station contracts coming in above the 2002 estimate, which is not surprising given the heat in the contracting market," she said.
"The other major budget pressure has been new safety standards being set for earthing and insulation of the system's electrical apparatus.
"While we hope we will not have to use all this contingency, prudent financial planning requires us to make provision for this in the coming budget."