Alexandria to Waterloo cable project

 A similar cable project in progress

Ausgrid is planning to replace 132,000 volt underground cables between McEvoy Street, Alexandria to Wellington Street, Waterloo. The existing cables of the same voltage are ready to be retired so Ausgrid can maintain a reliable electricity supply in the future.  The project is also part of a program to retire fluid filled cables across our network.

Project need

Ausgrid is planning to replace 132,000 Volt underground cables from McEvoy Street, Alexandria to Wellington Street, Waterloo as part of a larger project to replace existing cables in the area. The existing cables of the same voltage are ready to be retired so Ausgrid can maintain a reliable electricity supply in the future. The project is also part of a program to retire fluid filled cables across our network. 

The section between McEvoy Street, Alexandria and Wellington Street, Waterloo will be done earlier as Ausgrid has been requested to relocate existing cables due to other infrastructure works.  It is proposed that this work would start in September 2017 and take eight months to complete.

At a later date, we will start engagement on the rest of the proposed work when further planning has been completed.

Planning cable projects

There are a number of considerations to factor in while planning cable routes. These include:

  • community impacts
  • availability of space around existing utility services
  • environmental and heritage impacts
  • cost (minimising the impact on electricity bills)
  • technical feasibility
  • traffic impacts
  • coordinating works with other infrastructure projects.

Project dates

Ausgrid has met with the City of Sydney to receive early feedback on the proposed options and start liaison with the project teams from other infrastructure projects in the area to minimise impact on the surrounding community as much as possible.

Following project approvals, the section between McEvoy Street and Wellington Street  is proposed to start in September 2017 and take eight months to complete.  

At a later date, we will start engagement on the rest of the proposed work when further planning has been completed.  



Project approval process

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Ausgrid is the determining authority for this project.  An environmental assessment (known as a Review of Environmental Factors or REF) is being prepared in accordance with Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Clause 228 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

The REF investigates the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposal. It also recommends mitigation measures as required to ensure any impacts are at acceptable levels. The REF includes a range of specialist studies and input from the community, councils and other authorities.

After the REF has been prepared, it will be placed on public exhibition for comment with submissions from the community encouraged. All submissions would be considered and addressed as part of the process to finalise the REF.  

Community engagement

Ausgrid has started engaging with Council about the proposed new cables and are now seeking community input on two route options.  These options are detailed in the newsletter which residents and businesses living or working along the proposed cables routes have received. Input was also sought online, via the link at the top right of this page. The link also provides information about the options being considered.

Feedback on the options is currently being considered as part of the project planning process. This feedback will assist Ausgrid to prepare a preferred route for environmental assessment. 

Community feedback is important to Ausgrid and will be considered in the planning process.  There will be further newsletters with updates, including information about how we have used the community’s feedback.  Once the final route has been confirmed, we will update local residents and businesses with what to expect during construction and more detailed time frames.

This initial one kilometre section is part of a larger project to upgrade 6 kilometres of cable through to Surry Hills and once further planning has been been completed on this, we will be in touch to seek community feedback.


Construction

Like any construction work, the project would involve noise and dust, and temporary traffic and parking disruptions, which we would work to reduce as much as possible. Click here to view an information graphic showing the stages of cable laying.

Construction would generally include:

  • digging trenches, approximately 800mm to 1400mm wide, to lay conduits (plastic pipes) to hold the new cables
  • filling trenches and resurfacing the area temporarily
  • trenching and resurfacing takes about three days outside each property depending on ground and weather conditions
  • excavating underground joint bays every 900 metres along the route in the road to feed in and join cables together
  • feeding in and joining the cables, which take two to four months to complete
  • work on the joint bays usually occur in distinct stages
  • final restoration is completed in consultation with local councils and relevant authorities either as sections of work are completed or once the overall project is finished.