There have been reports of cracks emerging in the $8.3 billion Sydney Skytrain, the latest addition to Sydney Infrastructure. There are 24 concrete spans which have been erected to help support the Skytrain, 2 of these are said to feature cracks. There are fears that these two spans could have to be pulled down. Each span is roughly 40 metres in length of precast concrete and steel. At this stage it is unclear whether the cracking issue will affect the remaining 22 concrete spans.
Transport for New South Wales went on record to say that there should ideally be no delay in the overall completion date of the Metro North-west project. (completion due Q1 2019)
The infrastructure project to the west of the tunnel has seen some recent slow progress on elevated track, this runs from Bella Vista to Cudgegong Road. This section has already been hit by design issues which has seen an additional $50million claimed in the construction contract variation from the government. These contract variations are reported to have come from the discovery of differences in the designs and unplanned for asbestos removal from the sites.
Sydney Metro have released a statement on the issue through program director Tom Gellibrand. He has stated that the replacing of the spans is a “straightforward process” in infrastructure project such as this. Also, “It is not uncommon for cracking to occur within reinforced concrete and there is a comprehensive inspection program in place for the Skytrain construction, with any required repairs undertaken in accordance with quality assurance procedures and processes.”
The infrastructure construction is causing some issues with Sydney residents. Towards the end of the project in 2018 the train route from Epping to Chatswood rail line will be shut for 7 months in order to link it with existing connections.
The spokesperson for the Greens political party, Mehreen Faruqi said there were “hallmarks of an infrastructure program where the public sector has been hollowed out of engineering expertise, and is unable to effectively oversee and supervise project delivery”.
We will keep you posted as this story develops.