1.4m to map out rail stage 3

January 5, 2017,

GOLD Coast council will spend more than $1.4 million conducting feasibility studies and designing the third stage of the light rail project.

The third stage, which will run from Broadbeach to Coolangatta, will be split into two sections, the first ending at Burleigh.

Council decided to split the section to increase the chance of receiving federal or state help for the transport route, which is expected to cost about $1.5 billion.

Final costings are expected to be released once the feasibility studies and design work has been completed.

The council has released a tender for the design work and feasibility study for the first half of the third stage and the documents set a deadline of June 30 next year to have the work completed.

Maps provided in the tender show the light rail will continue south along the Gold Coast highway until it reaches Bilinga where it will veer towards the airport before heading back into Coolangatta.

The documents show the third stage will not be the final extension of the light rail.

“The (Gold Coast City Transport) Strategy also identifies a number of other light rail routes for future consideration including Nobby Beach to Robina Town Centre, Surfers Paradise to Bundall, Main Beach to The Spit and Parklands to Biggera Waters,” the documents read.

The documents call for the design of the route to Burleigh, including traffic solutions for intersections.

This section is expected to be one of the easier sections to design as it follows the Gold Coast Highway along a relatively flat section with no bridges to cross.

The tender documents reveal the location of stations will be decided after community consultation to take place in April next year.

Mayor Tom Tate said council were yet to ask the state and federal governments for funding support, a conversation which will dictate when the third stage is built.

“(Construction will begin) once we secure state and federal support,” he said. “It is too early to commit to a funding model for that section.”

Based on the funding models used in the first two stages, the council will have to contribute about 11 per cent of the total cost.

Cr Tate said the council was focusing on the route mapping and financial analysis at this stage.

He said council would make a decision on the route at some point next year after the mapping had been completed.

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