No plans yet to fill hole in city’s heart left by monorail

Gone but not forgotten: The Monorail. Photo: Kate GeraghtyThe process of tearing down Sydney’s monorail will start next month, but the Transport Minister will not yet say what the space made available by its removal might be used for.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, who on Monday handed over the receipts from the monorail’s final weekend to five charities, said the monorail trains would be removed from their stabling this week.

Two carriages from the dormant monorail line, which closed on June 30, will be housed in Ultimo’s Powerhouse Museum. The rest will go the way of the monorail’s track, pylons and stations; dismantled, recycled for scrap or used for landfill.

The demolition work will start in a month, the minister said, and could continue into next year.

”Obviously we are making sure that we try and do things in certain parts of the day when people aren’t in the city, or after hours,” she said. ”We are trying to reduce the disruption as much as possible.”

Transport for NSW planning documents show dismantling the 25-year-old monorail will require temporary road closures on Market, Pitt, Liverpool, George, Kent and Clarence streets in the CBD.

It will also require the temporary closure of the Western Distributor at Ultimo and the possession of Sydney’s light-rail track for up to five weekends. Pyrmont Bridge will also have to be closed at times.

Ms Berejiklian refused to comment on whether she would support a bike path along Pyrmont Bridge to link up the cycle path through Pyrmont with a part-built separated path on King Street.

”I don’t want to be drawn into what might happen afterwards,” she said. ”I’m focusing on the monorail being dislodged, dismantled as safely and as quickly as possible.” Removing track pylons on part of Pitt Street potentially frees up another lane to traffic.

The $70,000 in ticket receipts from the line’s last weekend were distributed to Camp Quality, CanTeen, Make-A-Wish Australia, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and Youth Off The Streets.

Almost 16,000 people caught the monorail on its last weekend, compared with about 6000 who used it on the same weekend a year ago.

”The monorail was all about kids … and the fact young people were able to benefit from the last weekend is I think a great way to farewell the monorail,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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