Monorail beams set to head back into town

The steel beams that have formed part of Sydney’s monorail for the past 25 years could find new homes in construction projects around the city.

The process of tearing down and carting away the monorail, which looped its last loop at the end of June, will start on August 12.

The bulk of the work should be finished by late October and, according to the man responsible for extricating the line from central Sydney, parts of the monorail still in good condition could soon make their way back into town.

“The beams may be re-used on civil projects, on mining projects, or building projects,” said Nick Giannikouris, the director of Metropolitan Demolitions Group, which won the contract to tear down and recycle the monorail.

“Failing that any steel will be recycled,” he said.

For the most part, the work required to take down the monorail will take place overnight. This work will start at Darling Drive, at the back of Darling Harbour, before switching to Pyrmont Bridge and then through the rest of the city loop.

It will require the dismantling of 3.6 kilometres of track, and the removal of 153 upright columns and 153 concrete pedestals. This represents about 1500 tonnes of steel, and 300 tonnes of concrete.

“Some of the more tricky parts to the project would be the removal of the concrete pedestal bases over the Pyrmont Bridge.

As we all know it is part of the harbour; there are strict environmental issues that we must adhere to,” Mr Giannikouris said.

The other difficult bits are the stations at Galleries Victoria and at the Convention Centre, where the monorail runs over the light rail line.

This will require the closure of the Central to Lilyfield light rail line over four weekends in late August and through September. Access to Darling Drive will also be restricted on those four weekends, and traffic on the Western Distributor through Ultimo will be diverted on two nights in October.

Mr Giannikouris said the track would be removed progressively, in a project that will have up to 20 workers on the job at any one time.

“What we do is secure a section of track from column to column, which is typically about 25 metres long, using sometimes two cranes, predominantly one crane, secure the actual beam section, lower it carefully down to ground, cut it again in half and remove it from site,” he said.

“The majority of the beams will be either re-used or recycled,” he said.

Mr Giannikouris is looking for potential buyers.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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