The Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 project has received planning approval, marking a major step forward for the Western Sydney rail network. 

The approval comes after the New South Wales Government invested $200 million in the 2023-24 NSW Budget to expedite the project’s planning processes so construction can begin this term of Parliament.

Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 will connect Parramatta CBD to Sydney Olympic Park via the growing communities of Camellia, Rydalmere, Ermington, Melrose Park and Wentworth Point.

The 10km extension will include 14 new light rail stops that will provide residents with a long-awaited public transport link and unlock future housing growth.

The approved light rail corridor includes alignment changes around Rydalmere that will make connections to the Rydalmere Ferry Wharf easier and improve travel times.

Passengers will be able to travel from Sydney Olympic Park to Camellia in around 30 minutes, and on to the Parramatta CBD in another seven minutes.

Construction will be phased, with initial work to begin in late 2024 on a new 320m public and active transport bridge over Parramatta River, between Melrose Park and Wentworth Point.

Procurement to deliver the $602.4 million bridge is underway, with the initial contract for enabling works expected to be awarded in late 2024. This is the first stage in delivering Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2, with main construction work on the bridge expected to start in 2025.

The bridge will connect the growing communities of Melrose Park and Wentworth Point, located north and south of the river. It will be the first significant bridge crossing over Parramatta River since the completion of the southbound Ryde Bridge in 1987 – nearly 40 years ago.

Enabling works on the bridge are subject to approval by the Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, and the New South Wales Government has said that it looks forward to a positive outcome of this process in the coming months.

New South Wales Minister for Transport, Jo Haylen, said that this is a major step forward for the city-shaping Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 project, meaning growing communities in Western Sydney will be more connected than ever before.

“With around half of local residents and a third of local employees projected to live and work across the project corridor, this new track will serve a population of close to 280,000 by 2041,” Ms Haylen said. 

“Stage 2 will directly link residents in Parramatta to the Sydney Olympic Park precinct and give communities like Wentworth Point the public transport they’ve been promised.”

New South Wales Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully, said that it’s great news that the Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 project has been given the green light. 

“Density in our cities is only possible if we can provide the supporting infrastructure, and that includes transport,” Mr Scully said. 

“The New South Wales Government will continue to work closely with its partners and stakeholders so that the Conditions of Approval are met for the ongoing delivery of this vital megaproject.”

Member for Parramatta, Donna Davis, said that she is thrilled that the New South Wales Government has reached this milestone in the planning of Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2.

“I will continue to work with residents, businesses, and local groups to ensure vital transport links like this one are delivered for our community,” Ms Davis said. 

“Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 will connect communities on both banks of the Parramatta River directly to the Parramatta CBD. This will be a real game changer for the way people move around our city and I can’t wait to see work begin.”

Featured image: Artist’s rendition of a green track on Tramway Avenue. Image credit: New South Wales Government.

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