Top Ryde to Wentworth Point cable project

 An example of an underground cable project in construction

Ausgrid is replacing cables between Top Ryde and Wentworth Point via Meadowbank substation as the existing cables need to be retired from service.

Project need

Ausgrid had identified the need to replace existing cables between Top Ryde substation and our network connection point on Hill Road at Wentworth Point by late 2018. 

The existing 132,000 volt underground cables are nearing the end of their service life and are being replaced so Ausgrid can maintain a reliable electricity supply in the future. The project is also part of a network wide program to retire fluid filled cables, particularly in areas where there are water crossings. The current cables cross Parramatta River. 

Planning cable projects

Planning a cable route can take a number of  years. 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
  • crossing Parramatta River, the Northern rail line and major roads.

Project status

Top Ryde to Wentworth Point cable project and community engagement timeline

Project approval process

Ausgrid is responsible for assessing and approving works under the Top Ryde to Wentworth Point cable project. This process includes preparation of an environmental assessment (Review of Environmental Factors or REF). The REF includes a range of specialist studies and input from the community, councils and other authorities.

The REF was on exhibition for comment until Monday 20 June 2016 to Friday 22 July 2016. Ausgrid considered all submissions as part of the process of assessing the project for construction approval. The final REF can be viewed via the link on the right hand side of the page and the summary of submissions can be read by going to the community information and presentations section. The project is now in the construction stage.

Community engagement

Preparations to replace these cables started in late 2013. This process involved engaging with local councils and Members of Parliament in the areas where the new cables could be laid. 

Following the initial round of consultation, the project team drew up a range of possible routes for discussion and feedback at a community workshop in early September 2014. Workshop participants included representatives from community and local business groups, utilities and other interested community members. Local residents, along with representatives from utilities, councils, businesses, and community groups worked together with Ausgrid to look at possible route options for the project and to provide feedback on potential issues in local areas. The feedback included route suggestions, information on local environmental, historical factors and planned developments, as well as traffic issues. A summary of the workshop feedback can viewed by clicking on the community information and presentations link on the right hand side of this page.

Information from the workshop assisted with development of preferred routes for the section between Top Ryde and Wentworth Point. Construction has started and is scheduled to be completed by mid 2018. 

Note: The section to be replaced between East Ryde and Top Ryde is not due to be constructed until 2018 and is currently being planned. Information from the workshop has been used as part of the planning is process - see the project web page for more information.

Ausgrid held community sessions in late November 2014 to seek feedback on the preferred routes between Top Ryde and Wentworth Point and provide information about the proposal. A summary of the community sessions feedback can be viewed by clicking on the community information and presentations link on the right hand side of this page.

After considering and addressing feedback from the community and further planning, Ausgrid selected a preferred cable route between Top Ryde and Wentworth Point for environmental assessment. The environmental assessment was put on public exhibition for comment by interested members of the community and all submissions were considered as part of the project approval process. A summary of the submissions report is available via the link at the top right of this page. 

The cable route includes a section on the old Meadowbank Railway Bridge, which is used as a pedestrian/cyclist bridge. See more information on community engagement for this part of the route in the section below.

People interested in finding out more about the project are encouraged to contact the project team via the contacts at top right. 

Old Meadowbank Railway Bridge

The cable route includes a section which crosses the Parramatta River on the old Meadowbank Railway Bridge. The bridge provides pedestrian and cyclist access across the river. The new cables have been installed under the shared path and there is no permanent change to the Bridge.

As it was identified during planning that the bridge was likely to be closed for a period during construction, Ausgrid completed targeted consultation to better understand potential impacts to help minimise disruption to bridge users. For more information on this engagement click here.

Ausgrid conducted a survey of people who use the pedestrian/cycleway on the old Meadowbank Railway Bridge. Almost 600 people completed the survey, providing valuable feedback which has been used to help plan the work in a way which reduces the impact on bridge users. Survey results were analysed and a summary of key findings can be seen in the community information and presentations section.

After considering community feedback and working closely with bicycle user groups such as Bicycle NSW, Ausgrid and our contractors were able to revise the planned methodology so that the bridge did not need to be closed during construction.


Construction is now mostly complete and the commissioning of the new cables is now occurring. Final restoration  of the affected roads will be completed in consultation with local councils and relevant authorities.