Excavation for the resurfacing of Glebe Point Road has unearthed the tram tracks under the roadway between Mitchell and Norton Streets. Trams ran along Glebe Point Road between 1892 and 1958.
Perception of some in the community, was that the task was merely window-dressing and that new paving was all that had to be done. Beneath the road surface, there existed aging rusting pipes, inadequate water mains, poor drainage systems, buried tram tracks and a very poor substructure. These factors were compounded by the fact that in some sections of Glebe Point Road the Road was 600mm higher than the adjacent footpath. Much planning, consultation and thought was carried out before construction began. As Glebe Point Road is a major Road, agencies such as RTA, Sydney Buses, Energy Australia, Sydney Water, external contractors and property owners all had to be consulted and works coordinated accordingly.
There will be some further minor works to be carried out and these will continue in to 2009. The whole length of Glebe Point Road from Broadway to Bridge Rd will require sheeting to provide a finished surface. This work will be done in December/January. Practical completion will be in February, however work will continue through following year to complete minor defects.
The fountain at Jubilee Place is currently being restored and will be reinstated once paving is completed. A security camera in Derby Place will be operational in December. Its capacity will enable views as far as Broadway, Mitchell St and Francis St. City of Sydney will install decorative lighting to highlight places of significance. These include University Hall, St Johns Church and the Old Fire Station. This is also part of Glebe Point Road upgrade. The City of Sydney, working with Glebe Chamber of Commerce has plans and activities to assist with the revitalisation of Commerce in Glebe Point Road.
Urban myths abounded in the community – the project could have be done differently, it could have been much faster, was behind schedule etc. What astounded me was the number of people who suddenly became experts in engineering, traffic management, construction work and urban design and project management.
Whilst this work has been a major project and at times inconvenient, our 19th century streetscape had to be upgraded to suit 21st century needs. For far too many years Glebe Point Road has suffered neglect. We have had the services of Rob Mueck, (City of Sydney Project Manager) who has worked closely with GMW and the community. In addition, Grant Donohue, (GMW Construction Community Liaison Officer) has been on streets every day, providing information and assistance to all.
Now we have reclaimed our space, we need to support our local businesses that have experienced difficulties over the past year. Glebe is a village and we own it.