Tram project work ramping up - 2/11/2012Wanganui Mayor Annette Main today said people can expect to see lots more activity on the riverfront in the coming weeks as the tram track construction project progresses.
“We’re about to see some really exciting things happening, in addition to the laying of the track,” Mayor Main said.
“The last section of rail will be built across the road on Moutoa Quay near the Whanganui Riverboat Centre next week. The road will have to be closed for about three weeks so this work can be completed.
“During the next two weeks, we will be installing the 14 concrete bases for the lighting poles. The poles, which are being manufactured locally, are steel with a timber finish, in keeping with the look we are developing for the riverfront area. After the bases have been installed, the surrounding area will be tidied up and grassed.”
Mayor Main, who chairs the Tram Project Team, said she wanted to reassure the community about some safety concerns that had been raised.
“Some people believe that the tram tracks will be electrified but this is not correct. There is also a misconception that the tracks, when completed, will be above ground level, causing a potential safety issue. I can assure people that the tracks will be flush with the ground when the work is finished.”
Laying the tram tracks and associated works are expected to be completed in December.
“The team working on the track laying, which includes many volunteers, have made impressive progress under the guidance of Jim Auker from the Tramways Trust,” Mayor Main said.
“It has been great to see so many locals and visitors taking the opportunity to see a process which has largely disappeared from our cities.
“We hope that we may be able to have a test run on the new track between the Tram Shed and the PS Waimarie berth before Christmas.
“However, this will not be an ‘official opening’ as it will be some time before the No. 12 Tram can take passengers as, once the track is complete, the Tramways Wanganui Trust will need to go through a licensing process with NZ Transport Agency to allow the tram to carry passengers. We are all looking forward to licensing approval being received next year.”