Alexandria to Waterloo cable project

 A similar cable project in progress

Ausgrid is replacing about one kilometre of 132,000 volt (132kV) underground cables between McEvoy Street, Alexandria to Wellington Street, Waterloo. The existing cables of the same voltage are ready to be retired so we can maintain a safe and reliable electricity supply in the future.  The project is also part of a program with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to replace fluid filled cables across our network.

Project need

We are planning to replace 132kV underground cables from McEvoy Street, Alexandria to Wellington Street, Waterloo as part of a larger project to replace existing fluid filled cables in the area.

This section will be done first in the programme so we can relocate existing cables in conjunction with other infrastructure works being undertaken in the area. This will help minimise long-term community impact and make better use of shared resources. It is proposed that this work will start in November 2017 and take nine months to complete.

This one kilometre section is part of a project to upgrade six kilometres of cable through to Surry Hills.

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 is working with stakeholders in the area to obtain feedback on the proposed route, gain an understanding of potential community impacts and to coordinate our works with other infrastructure projects in the area. This feedback has helped inform the planning process and will also help us mitigate or avoid impacts on the local area.

Following potential  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 area as much as possible.

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

Project approval process

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Ausgrid is the determining authority for this project. As part of this process, an environmental assessment (known as a Review of Environmental Factors or REF) has been prepared. i

The REF investigates the potential environmental impacts associated with the construction and operation of the replacement cables

The REF is now on exhibition (see details below) and we encourage community comments on the proposal. Community feedback will be considered prior to the project being assessed for construction approval.

View the environmental assessment

The REF is on public exhibition until Wednesday 25 October 2017. You can submit your feedback via the form on our project web page or contact us and we can send you a form. There are a number of ways you can access the REF:

  • In person - printed copies of the REF are available at 570 George Street Sydney - available to view at reception on Bathurst Street.
  • Web - by clicking here.

Community engagement

Ausgrid completed a review of the route options survey and the community's preference was to use Alexandria Park to minimise community impact.

While we were gathering the route selection feedback there were a number of comments and concerns about the restoration of Alexandria Park after the construction work has finished. In response to these concerns we will:

  • Commission and Aboriginal and European heritage assessment report, to analyse the proposed works and potential impacts on the heritage significant of the route through Alexandria Park and the associated heritage conservation area
  • Contribute funding of $10,000 to a shared community project in consultation with the local school or other group to enhance Alexandria Park. This could possibly involve amenity, but we are happy to work wit the community to assess options. 
  • Install the new cables along existing infrastructure around the perimeter of the park to minimise current and future impacts for users of the park.
  • Ensure all areas of the park impacted by the works are fully reinstated. We will engage a specialist landscaper to restore the grassed areas and to ensure appropriate regrowth and avoid subsidence. 
  • No trees in Alexandria Park will be impacted by these works.
  • Total construction time through the park will be 3-4 weeks.

This one kilometre section is part of a  project to upgrade six kilometres of cable through to Surry Hills. 


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 to lay conduits (plastic pipes) to accommodate the new cables
  • backfilling trenches and temporary resurfacing of impacted areas (trenching and temporary resurfacing takes about three days outside each property depending on ground and weather conditions)
  • excavating an underground joint bay in the road on Wellington Street
  • feeding in and joining the cables on McEvoy Street, Power Avenue, in Alexandria Park and on Wellington Street at various locations which will take two to three months to complete
  • final restoration will be understand once the overall project is complete