As part of its vision to position Canberra as a sustainable and creative city, the ACT Government wants to create a modern, integrated public transport system. The Canberra Light Rail Network, which was known as Capital Metro during the planning stages, is the backbone of this system. The government’s aim was to use light rail is to transform the city into a more prosperous, sustainable and liveable place.
Facilitating Planning and Approvals
Our team provided planning and environmental assessment services including preparation of a preliminary environmental assessment. Then we completed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Stage 1 of the Capital Metro, a 12-kilometre light rail corridor between the northern town centre of Gungahlin and the city centre (Civic).
Our team also provided a preliminary environmental assessment and a Referral under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 2001 for a 3 km extension of the light rail to Russell.
During the engagement, we delivered a range of additional supporting services and advice, including:
- Statutory planning advice
- Identification of environmental constraints and risks
- Specialist technical studies
Delivering Specialist Technical Advice
Our specialist technical studies assessed issues including traffic and transport, biodiversity, heritage, noise and vibration, hydrology, socio-economic, air quality, bushfire risk and greenhouse gases.
As the design changed regularly, we adopted a footprint-style assessment methodology for key environmental issues such as ecology, noise, vibration and heritage. This approach provided an EIS with greater flexibility for future project refinement and minimised the need to repeat iterations of specialist assessments.
Keeping the Project on Track
We completed the EIS on time and on budget and in parallel to the start of the construction tendering process.
“The development and delivery of the EIS, it is recognised, was done so under very tight timeframes and required an extremely flexible approach from WSP,” says Steven Allday, Executive Director, Procurement and Delivery, Capital Metro Agency.
The Canberra Light Rail began operations in April 2019. Already the project is helping to address many of the city’s environmental concerns including air quality, traffic volumes and congestion, ambient noise, greenhouse gas emissions and urban growth.